Bong Revilla ‘distraught’ over son’s shooting
MANILA, Philippines–Detained Sen. Bong Revilla was distraught about his son Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla suffering a gunshot wound to the chest, talent manager and family friend Lolit Solis said on Sunday.
Solis said the senator, who is detained on graft and plunder charges and who is the husband of actress and Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado, was inconsolable. “He is distraught. He keeps blaming himself for what happened.”
The vice governor was rushed to Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa City on Saturday morning with a gunshot wound. The family claims that what happened was an accident.
“I told Lani that life is full of twists and turns,” Solis told the Inquirer in a phone interview Sunday. “But through all these trials, it seems Lani is the strongest person in the clan. I want to give her an award for all that she has been through. In the past, she remained quiet in spite of rumors that her husband was a playboy. Then her husband was detained because of the pork barrel scandal. Now her son is in the hospital.”
Lawyer Raymond Fortun, the Revilla family’s spokesman, gave the family’s version of what happened that morning in their Ayala Alabang Village house in Muntinlupa.
The young Revilla was waiting for his mother to finish dressing. They were supposed to go somewhere together.
The vice governor “probably” got bored with waiting and he decided to clean his government-issued gun in his room, Fortun said.
The gun, a .40-cal. Glock, is registered to the province of Cavite. The young Revilla did not notice the bullet in the gun and “happened to” pull the trigger.
The bullet pierced the upper part of his chest, above the right nipple. The bullet exited through his right shoulder.
One of the vice governor’s siblings heard a gunshot and rushed to her brother’s room. The vice governor and his sister rushed to their mother’s room “basically saying I was shot.”
The congresswoman rushed Jolo to the hospital.
The family has chosen to keep the incident from the clan’s patriarch, former Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr., whose health is precarious, Solis said.
The police on Sunday formed a team to investigate the incident.
The National Capital Region Police Office head, Director Carmelo Valmoria, said the composite team, including the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, crime lab and the Muntinlupa police, would be headed by Southern Police District director Chief Supt. Henry Rañola.
Valmoria said the team would look into, among other things, what really happened in the Revilla house and whether a third party was involved.
Fortun said the family was “more than willing to cooperate” with the police, but he insisted the incident was “purely a domestic matter.”
“[T]his is not something that should be a big issue to the police because no third party was involved,” the lawyer said.
Mercado told the Inquirer in a text message: “We are coping as a family. God is our strength and refuge. We request prayers for Jolo’s complete recovery.”
Solis recounted that Mercado kept vigil in the hospital until her son woke up.
“Lani told me that Jolo’s girlfriend, (actress) Jodi Sta. Maria, also stayed in the hospital all night,” Solis related. “Jodi made sure Jolo was OK. They are really in love. I am sure, they are headed for the altar as soon as her marriage annulment is granted.”
Sta. Maria is separated from Pampi Lacson, son of former Sen. Ping Lacson.
“Jodi was very concerned. She kept reminding Jolo that his son Gab needed him,” Solis said.
Gab is the actor-politician’s son with former partner Grace Adriano, daughter of actress Rosanna Roces.
“Lani followed my advice and made sure Gab was among the first people Jolo saw when he opened his eyes,” Solis related. “Lani told me that she was lifting everything up to the Lord.”
In two separate messages posted on Facebook, Mercado expressed her sentiments on the incident that left her third child with a gunshot wound to his chest.
On Sunday morning, she wrote on Facebook this message in Filipino: “Lord, I am lifting up my entire family, especially Vice Gov. Jolo, to You. Thank You for the life You have given him. Please continue to guide and heal him. We offer his recovery to You. I am also thankful to all those who have been praying for Jolo and our entire family. Please surround us with love and strength dear Lord. We love You, Lord.”
A few hours later, Mercado posted a more frantic message on Facebook: “Please pray for VG Jolo. CT scan results show bleeding in his chest. A tube will be inserted to drain the blood. His operation will be at 2 p.m. We need your prayers.”
“Lani got worried because she was told that the bleeding was too heavy,” Solis said.
“Such internal bleeding is normal,” Fortun said in a text message to the Inquirer.
Blood taken from lungs
At 5 p.m. Sunday, Fortun issued this medical update: “Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla is back in the ICU after a 2-1/2 hour operation where a chest tube was inserted. Doctors removed half a liter of blood from his lungs. Due to his delicate condition, doctors requested that visitors be limited to family members. The family is requesting the public for more prayers for Jolo’s speedy recovery.”
Fortun told the Inquirer that the procedure was meant to “prevent Jolo suffering an infection.”