Senator Revilla backs down, ends Cavite political drama
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Ramon Revilla was expected to train his guns at Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II at a press conference scheduled on Friday in connection with the police cordoning off the Revilla mansion in Bacoor, Cavite, on Election Day on May 13.
But Revilla, a movie star known for his action roles, called it off. Instead, he issued a statement that was conciliatory towards Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.
“I have decided to no longer engage in a war of words with Secretary Mar Roxas over the incident that transpired in our home in Bacoor,” Revilla said.
“For old time’s sake and to preserve our personal friendship, I set aside for the meantime my opinions over the matter. Instead of protracting the issue over the media, I choose to just wait for the proper time and venue where I can properly vent my position,” his statement added.
Revilla earlier issued a statement accusing Roxas, whose department supervises the police, of engaging in “martial law tactics” after policemen camped outside the Revilla compound, supposedly in hot pursuit of armed men that had allegedly slipped into the senators’ residence on the eve of the midterm polls.
Revilla’s son, actor Jolo Revilla was running in the vice gubernatorial race against the Liberal Party’s bet, Jay Lacson. Lacson is the son of Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former chief of the PNP.
Five armed men who claimed to be agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had been arrested by the police in front of the Revilla home.
Revilla came out raging that Election Day morning, saying he was a senator and was not to be “treated like a criminal.” He threatened the police force with a “Senate investigation.”
But he admitted his family had asked for assistance from the NBI after their request for security from the Philippine National Police (PNP) went unheeded.
PNP Director General Alan Purisima had defended the Cavite police force, saying the five NBI agents arrested outside the senator’s house were not exempted from the election gun ban.
It also turned out that only one of those arrested was a regular NBI agent while the rest were just “confidential agents.”
NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas later virtually disowned them, saying the agency no longer employed confidential agents.
In his statement Friday, Revilla said he was hoping that keeping his peace would pave the way for an objective assessment of what transpired.
“I am sure that Secretary Roxas is one with me in my quest to correct the errors committed and to make accountable those who have committed abuses,” Revilla said.
“After all, as the good secretary has said, no one is above the law—even those wearing the uniform and cloaked with power and authority,” he added.
Jolo Revilla has already been proclaimed the winner against Lacson in the vice gubernatorial race. Jolo was the running mate of reelectionist Gov. Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla who also beat Imus Rep. Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi, gubernatorial bet of the Liberal Party.
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