Revilla: I’m a senator, but we’re being treated like criminals
BACOOR CITY, Cavite, Philippines — A teary-eyed Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. cried foul, on Monday, over what he called political harassment by members of the Cavite police against him and his family.
In a press conference right after casting his vote on Monday morning, Revilla, at his family’s mansion here, defended the presence of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents, whose “support” the Revillas sought following reports police were accusing them of vote buying. Revilla claimed that their supporters were being harassed.
Six NBI agents, whom the Cavite police said were only “civilian agents” of the agency, were held at the provincial police camp in Imus City before 1 a.m. on Monday over questions concerning their authority to operate in Cavite.
Members of the police Regional Public Safety Batallion and the Cavite police surrounded the Revillas’ sprawling ancestral home in Barangay (village) Panapaan here around midnight on Sunday, following reports that 20 armed men being sought for various election offenses were hiding in the senator’s residence.
“I’m a senator of the Philippines and we’re being treated like criminals,” said Revilla, whose facial expression showed deep frustration at the lawmen whom he accused of bias towards a rival political party in Cavite.
Revilla insisted they sought help from the NBI in Cavite because it “was the remaining (law enforcement) agency we could run to.”
“Their presence was legitimate,” Revilla said.
Revilla, a stalwart of Lakas-CMD, fielded his son and actor Jolo in the vice gubernatorial race against Liberal Party’s bet Jay Lacson. Lacson is the son of Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police.
Jolo is the running mate of reelectionist Governor Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla while Jay is the running mate of Imus Representative Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi, gubernatorial bet of the Liberal Party.
“I do not want to name names but it’s election time,” Revilla said when asked by reporters if he suspected that a higher official was behind the alleged harassment.
But he pointed out that some of the police officers assigned in Cavite formerly served under the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, which Senator Lacson used to head.
Lawyer Punch Rivera, legal counsel of Lakas-CMD, vowed to take legal actions for their party mate. Revilla said he would also conduct a Senate inquiry on the issue “at the proper time.”
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