Revilla on once arrest order is out: I’ll bring myself to jail
MANILA, Philippines – There will be no need for Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II to pick him and drive him to jail, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. said Saturday.
Revilla volunteered to go straight to jail as soon as the Sandiganbayan issues a warrant for his arrest in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
And while he’s ready to be thrown in the slammer, the senator aired this challenge to the Aquino administration: Are you ready to jail your allies, too?
“I understand that ‘Boy Pick-up’ is checking on our detention cell,” he said of Roxas over dwIZ radio. “Maybe, he wants to pick me up again. He doesn’t need to. I’ll go there myself.”
Revilla, along with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, is facing arrest following his indictment for plunder and graft in the Sandiganbayan in connection with the scam.
In a privilege speech in January, Revilla claimed that President Benigno Aquino III pleaded with him to vote for the conviction of then impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.
Revilla claimed that it was Roxas, then transportation secretary, who drove him to the President’s official residence in Bahay Pangarap from Roxas’ home in Cubao, Quezon City. He called Roxas “Boy Pickup.”
Revilla was among the 20 senators who voted to convict Corona for non-disclosure of his wealth in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth in violation of the Constitution in May 2012.
Revilla wondered aloud on Saturday if the administration was ready to crack the whip and file charges against their allies implicated in the scam.
“I’m ready to be jailed. What about them, are they ready too? Are they ready to jail their allies?” he said. “We’re ready, and we’re ready to clear our names.”
To the administration, Revilla gave this advice: “Look around you. I hope you’re clean. Someday, the truth will come out.”
Malacañang has consistently stated that it was ready to prosecute the President’s political allies to any point “where the evidence leads us.”
Both Revilla and Estrada have expressed confidence of being acquitted of the charges in a fair trial.
Revilla said he would not seek “special treatment” from the government. He said he has prepared himself and his family for his imprisonment, given that plunder is a non-bailable offense.
He welcomed last Friday’s raffle of their cases to three divisions in the Sandiganbayan as a crucial step in speeding up the process.
“If you ask me, I prefer to be jailed now just to get it over and done with. As things stand, I feel like I’m in jail now although I’m still out. The earlier we do this, the better to put a stop to the trial by publicity,” he said.
The senator likened his current predicament to “a never-ending nightmare.”
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