Bong Revilla’s son Jolo shoots self; accident, kin say
SAN PEDRO CITY, Philippines—Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla, a son of detained Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., allegedly tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in his father’s home, according to a source who requested anonymity for lack of authority to speak on the matter.
A statement released by lawyer Raymond Fortun, spokesman for the Revilla family, described the shooting as an “accident.”
In an earlier phone interview Saturday afternoon, Cavite Gov. Juanito Victor Remulla said Jolo sustained a gunshot wound “in his upper right chest” in the shooting that happened in Senator Revilla’s Alabang home and not in the Revilla mansion in Bacoor, Cavite, as earlier reported.
“He’s alive,” Remulla said of the shooting that happened at
9 a.m. Saturday morning, adding that he “did not know what happened,” except to say that “the [bullet] went through and through the (young Revilla’s) upper right chest.”
Revilla, an actor-turned-politician like his father and grandfather, Ramon Revilla Sr., is the second of six children of Senator Revilla with wife, movie star and Cavite representative Lani Mercado. The younger Revilla first joined politics in 2010 as village chief of Panapaan VII in Bacoor City, Cavite, the Revillas’ bailiwick.
In a separate phone interview, Cavite police director Senior Supt. Jonnel Estomo said he had sent his men to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, where the vice governor was rushed, to verify earlier media reports on the shooting incident.
“The first report we got was he was shot in the head, then the next (report) was in the chest, so I sent my men to Asian to verify this,” Estomo said.
He added: “Various media reports and the media (liaison) of Senator (Revilla) have already confirmed anyway na nagbaril sa sarili (that he shot himself).”
With the incident taking place in Alabang, “the official police report should now come from the Muntinlupa police,” Estomo said.
According to Fortun’s statement: “At 9 a.m. today at Ayala Alabang, Vice Governor Jolo Revilla suffered a single gunshot wound on his right chest after he accidentally fired a .40-cal. Glock handgun while cleaning the same. VG Revilla is currently under observation and medication at Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa. He will remain in the hospital for at least the next 48-72 hours. The Revilla family asks for prayers for his speedy recovery.”
Fortun denied reports that the young Revilla had attempted suicide. “Yes, it was self-inflicted because he was cleaning his gun. It was really accidental,” he said.
Talent manager and family friend Lolit Solis told the Inquirer that the younger Revilla took it hard when his father was detained for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.
Father as idol
“Medyo humina ang loob niya (He became emotionally weak). When his father was jailed, he lost a source of strength and stability. Senator Bong is Jolo’s idol. It’s really sad,” Solis said.
Solis said that among the Revilla children, Jolo was the most affected by recent developments in his father’s case. “He was upset by news that his father might get transferred to another facility.”
Solis recalled that when Senator Revilla was first sent to the detention center, Rep. Mercado handed over responsibility as head of the household to eldest son Brian. “Jolo couldn’t handle the duties. He was too grief-stricken because he considers his father as his emotional crutch.”
The talent manager said that she had texted Mercado, telling her that “the first person that Jolo should see when he opens his eyes in the hospital is his young son Gab (with ex-partner Grace Adriano, actress Rosanna Roces’ daughter). Hopefully that would make Jolo overcome his sadness over his father’s incarceration and (make him) realize that his young son needs him now more than ever.”
The talent manager declined to give further details. “Let’s wait. It’s too painful. I’m crying over what happened,” she said, adding that the family was too upset to issue an official statement at this time. “They are distraught,” she said.
In an interview with the Inquirer in Alfonso, Cavite, in November last year, the younger Revilla expressed the family’s hopes for the senator’s early release.
“It would be very difficult for us if we would not be together,” Revilla said on the sidelines of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s visit in Cavite.
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