MANILA -- A day after the Office of the Ombudsman said it found probable cause to file plunder and graft charges against Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. over the pork barrel scam, the lawmaker said he would just leave his fate to the Lord.
Speaking to radio dzMM on Wednesday, Revilla, who is currently on a vacation in the Holy Land with his family, said he was deeply saddened by the Ombudsman's announcement as well as the recommendation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that criminal charges be filed against him and his colleagues Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada in connection with the multibillion-peso corruption scandal.
Revilla cried foul over what he called "political persecution." "Alam naman natin kung anong pinagmulan nito -- pulitika," he said.
"Napakabigat po para sa akin, sa aking pamilya ang makaranas ng ganitong klaseng pagbatuhan ng putik nang dahil lamang sa pulitika. Madudurog ang pangalan natin ng ganito na lamang... Pero sabi ko nga eh pinaubaya ko na ang lahat ng ito sa Panginoon noon pa man," he added.
According to the Ombudsman, Revilla amassed a total of P242 million from kickbacks in his illegal transactions with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
The senator said he is ready to face the charges against him, prove that all of these are pure lies, and clear his name.
He would never steal the people's money, he said.
"Basta ako ay handa kung anuman ang gawin nila sa akin. Nakahanda ako. Basta ang masasabi ko wala akong kasalanan. Hindi ko kayang gawin yan. Kaya't sa mga gumagawa nito sa akin, bahala na si Lord sa inyo.
"Hindi ko kayang lunukin at hindi ko kayang mag-traydor sa aking mga tagahanga," he said.
Revilla is scheduled to return to the Philippines on April 13. But he said he is willing to come back earlier if necessary.
He said he will be filing his motion for reconsideration before the Ombudsman by Monday.
"To those who are saying tatakas at tatakbuhan ko ito, hindi po ako ganun. Haharapin ko po yan kahit buhay ko pa ang nakataya dahil hindi ko po pwedeng takbuhan ang mga ganitong paratang na walang katotohanan, na napakasakit... Ito lang ang pagkakataong linisin ko ang aking pangalan kaya't di ko maaaring takbuhan ang kasong ito," he said.