Bong Revilla on hidden wealth: I earned it as one of highest paid actors in PH
MANILA, Philippines―Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. denied hiding any ill-gotten wealth, saying he earned it as one of the country’s highest paid actors.
“Siguro naman sa larangan ng pagkita bilang Bong Revilla, siguro naman po I am one of the highest paid actors, hindi naman sa pagmamayabang,” Revilla said at the sidelines of his bail hearing for plunder over the pork barrel scam.
(Perhaps, as far as income is concerned, as Bong Revilla, maybe I am one of the highest paid actors, humility aside.)
The detained senator cited that in one of his television series alone on GMA 7, “Indio”, he earned about P40 million.
He said even when he was still young he was already wealthy because he started early in the entertainment industry.
“Basta ang masasabi ko lang, we can justify everything. Lahat nang pinaghirapan namin. Bata palang ako, artista na ako at mayaman na ako,” he said. “I have no hidden wealth.”
He admitted to closing his bank accounts at the height of the pork barrel scam investigation because he did not want his hard-earned money to be frozen.
“I am not denying that. That is true. Kung sa inyo man mangyari pag di nilabas ang pera sa bangko, ifi-freeze iyan. Paano naman pamilya mo? But we’re not hiding anything. Lahat nang kinita namin, legal, walang iligal,” Revilla said.
(If it happens to you, if the money isn’t withdrawn, the bank will freeze it. What will happen to your family. Everything we’ve earned is legal, nothing illegal.)
“Wala kaming itinatago. Pulitika lang ito lahat,” Revilla said. (We’re not hiding anything. This is all politics.)
But Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano refuted Revilla’s claims, saying the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) when it made the financial investigation already excluded Revilla’s earnings as an actor.
Justiniano said Revilla should also explain why the deposits were made in cold cash, as opposed to checks that are usually issued for actors’ endorsements in commercials or talent fees for shows.
“Wala naman sigurong nagbabayad ng napakalaking halagang sa cash, kasi baka maholdap ka pa,” he added.
The AMLC told the court that Revilla deposited P87.6 million in his and immediate family members’ bank accounts from April 6, 2006 to April 28, 2010.
This was the same period that principal whistleblower Benhur Luy alleged that Revilla, through his aide and lawyer Richard Cambe, received kickbacks from his projects funded by his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), also known as pork barrel.
The AMLC also said Revilla closed these bank accounts at the height of the scandal.
The council also said Nature Concepts Development and Realty Corp. controlled by Revilla’s wife Cavite Representative Lani Mercado-Revilla received P27.745 million, the bulk of which were deposited around the time Cambe allegedly received Revilla’s kickbacks from Luy.
Revilla and his wife also transferred to the company at least P16 million, Santos said.
The AMLC also noted that Rep. Mercado-Revilla’s company received the money despite having no operations and having insubstantial capital, Santos said.
Sought for her reaction, Mercado-Revilla denied that her company is simply a dummy corporation despite having insufficient capital.
She also begged off from making a comment and just left the issue for discussion in the court.
“Hindi totoo iyong paratang na dummy corporation ‘yun. Hindi insufficient ang capital. Idi-discuss po yun sa loob ng korte. ‘Dun nalang idi-discuss ang detalye,” she said.
Revilla is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center as he faces plunder for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, the purported scheme of funneling public funds to ghost projects for kickbacks.
Originally posted: 11:16 am | Thursday, October 16th, 2014
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