It was a family affair for the Revillas Monday as an emotional Senator Bong Revilla dodged pork barrel scam accusations in a privilege speech.
As a defensive Revilla took the Senate floor, his father, former Senator Ramon Revilla, Sr. and wife, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla sat quietly nearby, sometimes sobbing.
Other members of the Revilla clan were also in the Senate, appropriately, it seemed, as the senator frequently referred to the scandal’s impact on his family.
The “political persecution” he is subjected to over the P10-billion pork barrel scandal, the senator said, is taking its toll on his children.
“Kawawa naman ang aking pamilya. Tama ba na pati ang mga bata na walang kinalaman sa pulitika ay kinukutya? Sila ay binu-bully (I pity my family. Is it right for children who have nothing to do with politics to be ridiculed? They are being bullied),” Revilla said.
The senator said one of his children has stopped attending law school after being chided about the pork scam.
Revilla also lamented how his family’s wealth is being questioned, noting that all that he owns now is a product of years of hard work as movie and television actor.
“I’ve been working for over 30 years. Kung ano ang meron ako, pinaghirapan ko sa magdamag na shootings, tapings (Whatever I have, I worked for in protracted shootings and tapings),” Revilla claimed.
He hoped to clear his name for his ailing father, who retired from the Senate and is reeling from the scandal surrounding son Ramgen’s death, the senator said.
The 86-year-old Revilla patriarch broke into tears after his son referred spoke to him directly in his speech, calling him fondly as “Tatay”.
“Ibig kong linisin an aming pangalan sa mga mali at mga gawa-gawang akusasyon (I only home to clear our name of false and fabricated accusations),” he added.
Talk of family also led Revilla to recall earlier rumors that presidential sister Ballsy Aquino and her husband are involved in an alleged extortion attempt.
He also recalled how the administration shrugged off a scandal which implicated presidential sister Ballsy Aquino and her husband in alleged extortion attempt.
“Sigurado akong nararamdaman mo rin ang sakit ng maisangkot ang kapatid at bayaw mo sa katiwalian (I am sure you know the pain of having a sister and an in-law dragged into a scandal),” Revilla said.
“Masakit po, di po ba? Para sa akin, Mr. President, tila hindi po kapani-paniwala na sila ay sangkot sa ganyan (It hurts, right? For me, Mr. President, it seems unbelievable that they are involved in such a transaction),” the senator added.
Philippine military and commercial aircraft will keep flying over disputed areas in the South China Sea despite Chinese warnings over the airspace, President Benigno Aquino said on Monday. "We will still fly the routes that we fly based on the international law from the various conventions we entered into," Aquino told reporters when asked whether the Philippines accepted China's position. The Chinese military last week ordered a US Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane away from airspace …