Bong calls Luy 'Boy Pirma'; Roxas dubbed 'Boy Pickup'
MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. on Monday denied any links to the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam and said he is not afraid of possible interference from President Aquino to pin him to the crime.
In a privilege speech before the Senate, Revilla finally broke his long silence on the issue and denied allegations that he pocketed millions of pesos of his pork barrel funds through the use of fake non-government organizations linked to alleged pork scam brains Janet Lim Napoles
"For the record, Mr. President I have nothing to do with this scam, those whistle-blowers nor Janet Lim. I have no dealings or transactions with them," he said.
He also denied ever confirming to the Commission on Audit that he personally signed papers that he allocated P503.69 million of his pork barrel to eight questionable NGOs from 2007 to 2009.
Two of these NGOs were managed by scam whistleblower, Benhur Luy.
The senator showed pictures of the alleged signatures, which he said were clearly forged and were not even similar to his own.
He described Luy as "Boy Pirma" and said there was a "SARO Gang" in government offices that were involved in the scam.
He also denied that a certain Richard Cambe was his chief aide and received money on his behalf.
"Kung humahaba lang ang ilong ni Benhur Luy na yan, malamang umabot na ang ilong niya mula dito sa Senado hanggang sa Malacanang," he said.
Revilla and Napoles
Revilla said he broke his silence about the scam after disregarding the advice of his lawyers to keep quiet.
He said everything that he owns now came from his own hard work as a top action star and product endorser for the past 30 years, and not as a senator.
"Sa kabila ng pagyurak sa aking pagkatao, sa kabila ng pagkitil sa aking karapatan, sa kabila ng pagwasak sa aming buong angkan, kinimkim ko po ang aking nasa sa kalooban sa loob ng mahigit limang buwan. Narito po ako ngayon para humarap sa ating kababayan sa ngalan ng katotohanan," he said.
Revilla, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile are facing plunder raps filed by the National Bureau of Investigation in connection with the scam.
The action star turned politician is accused of pocketing more than P200 million of his pork barrel.
In its executive summary, the NBI said the pork barrel scam starts with an agreement between Napoles and lawmakers, who promise the businesswoman of designating her NGOs as recipients of PDAF.
In exchange, the lawmaker gets 40% to 60% of the cash value of the project as kickback.
The senator earlier admitted that the Revillas and the Napoleses know each other and sometimes meet in social gatherings.
Revilla said his son, Leonard Bryan Bautista, and one of Napoles’ children, James Christopher Napoles, met in high school and eventually became business partners. The two sold imported rubber shoes under the PB & J Corporation.
'Yan ba ang Daang Matuwid?'
In his speech, Revilla also criticized the "Daang Matuwid" slogan of President Aquino, saying that the country's top leader is engaging in politicking to lash out against his enemies.
The senator said the President was using the pork scam to veer attention away from his own inability to lead the country.
Revilla said Aquino failed to immediately attend to the needs of those affected by super typhoon "Yolanda."
He said government also failed to avert the impending power crisis, which was already being talked about as early as 2011.
"Yan ba ang Daang Matuwid?" he asked.
The senator said the pressure against his family started when he refused to support the President's own bet for governor of Cavite.
He also accused the President of interfering in the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona, which led to the latter's ouster in 2012.
Revilla was one of the senators who voted to remove Corona from office during the impeachment.
He said that before Corona's ouster, he had a secret meeting with Aquino, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Budget Secretary Butch Abad in Malacañang about the removal of Corona.
He said Roxas first invited him to his house in Cubao where he was asked to leave behind his security detail.
He said Roxas removed the license plate from his vehicle and personally drove him to Malacañang for a meeting with the President and Abad.
He said he, Aquino, Roxas and Abad had breakfast, with Roxas allegedly explaining why Corona had to be impeached.
The senator said the President then turned to him and said: "Pare, parang awa mo na. Ibalato mo na sa akin ito. Kailangan siyang ma-impeach."
Abad then added: "Magtulungan tayo senador."
Revilla said he felt pressured by the President but that he made no promises.
"I will do what is right. Kailangan manindigan sa tama at gagawin ko ang tama para sa bayan," he allegedly told Aquino.
He said Roxas then dropped him off at a restaurant near Malacañang "because he had to make other pickups."
"Hindi ako natatakot"
Revilla said he revealed the meeting to show that President Aquino is not above putting pressure to get what he wants.
He said it is even possible that the President could influence the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan especially following reports that some Palace allies are planning to impeach more SC justices.
"Kaya ko ito sinabi ngayon dahil sa isang matinding pangamba hindi ko maalis sa aking isipan na kung nagawa ito ni PNoy kay Chief Justice Corona ay pwede niyang gawin ito para impluwensiyaha ang Ombudsman at Sandiganbayan laban sa amin," he said.
Revilla said the pork barrel scam had created a "bandwagon of hatred" that has led to the vilification of his family in the media.
He said even his own kids were being bullied, and that his son had to stop law school because of all the hate.
The senator said he had no plan to quit despite all the pressure being brought to his family on all sides.
He also said he is not afraid of what could happen next, since he is leaving his fate to God.
"I am not afraid. Hindi po ako natatakot," he said.
"I have already accepted whatever fate has in store for me. I have already accepted this political persecution and I will face whatever comes next. Ginoong pangulo, tanggap ko na po kung anuman ang nakatadhana sa akin."