Revilla lawyer: Cunanan a liar

by Ria de Fiesta, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Mar 09 2014 12:25 AM | Updated as of Mar 09 2014 08:34 AM

Says Bong more firm in plan to run for president in 2016


MANILA – The lawyer of Senator Bong Revilla said on Saturday the senator is in “high spirits” because the recent Senate Blue Ribbon committee showed that provisional state witness Dennis Cunanan is a liar and therefore not credible.

“Lumalabas sa hearing na napaka-sinungaling nitong si Mr. Cunanan, lalo na nung nagkaroon sila ng confrontation ni Benhur Luy, kasi matindi ang pag-deny nya [Cunanan] na tumanggap siya ng pera mula sa PDAF scam,” Atty. Joel Bodegon said.

Cunanan denied receiving P960,000 cash which Luy insisted he turned over to Cunanan's group at the office of Janet Lim Napoles in Discovery Suites, Pasig City.

According to Bodegon, his client never made any transactions with Cunanan, either through a personal meeting or a phone call.

“Sabi nga ni Senator Revilla, anong dahilan at dapat ko siya kausapin? Unang-una, inamin ng mga whistleblowers sa pangunguna ni Benhur Luy na pineke nila yung mga dokumento. Ibig sabihin, si Senator Revilla had nothing to do with it, he has no knowledge of any application against his PDAF, pending with any implementing agency,” Bodegon explained.

“Hindi pwede sabihin ni Mr. Cunanan na si Senator Bong ay nagfa-follow up. Paano ka naman magfa-follow up ng isang bagay na hindi mo alam?” he added.

Asked why Revilla did not attend the hearing himself, Bodegon stated that the senator did not want to influence the Blue Ribbon committee with his presence.

“Ang kanyang posisyon, ayaw nya ma-influence ang Blue Ribbon committee by his presence. Magkakahiyaan sila [ng senators]. At gusto nya rin mabigyan ng free hand ang committee sa investigation,” he said.

Revilla, Bodegon said, denied his involvement in the PDAF scam as early as February last year. He explained that it took him five months before explaining his side via a privilege speech because of several circumstances.

“Noong siya ang scheduled na mag-privilege speech, nakiusap sa kanya si Senator Jinggoy Estrada na kung pwede mauna na sya. Nung sya na ang susunod, nagsalita naman si Senator Enrile. Pagkatapos nun, nagkaroon ng bagyong ‘Yolanda’. So hindi ka naman pwede mag-speech sa sitwasyon ang buong bayan ay naghihirap at nagdurusa sa devastation,” the lawyer said.

'KAP PLANS TO SEEK PRESIDENCY IN 2016'

He said Revilla was in Tacloban for a week to help in relief efforts, but this was not made known to the public because his actions were not “in aid of elections," Bodegon said.

Bodegon said the senator, leader of the Lakas-CMD, is being put on the spot because he has plans to run for president in 2016.

“Dinidiin sya ngayon because of the elections in 2016. Noon pa man 2010 elections ay nagpahiwatig na sya to run for president. Kaya nga isa siya sa pinag-iinitan ng Malacanang kaya lumabas itong PDAF scam na kasama sya,” he said.

But Revilla, according to Bodegon, instead of being discouraged by the scandal, has become more steadfast in seeking the presidency in 2016.

“Base sa aming pag-uusap, mukhang tumitindi lalo ang kanyang desiyon na tumakbo kasi para sa kanya, kung ano man ang binitawan niyang salita noong una na siya ay hindi lang tutulong sa imbestigasyon ng PDAF kundi sya mismo ay mag-iimbestiga,” he said.

Revilla, he said, has already filed a civil case against the whistleblowers.

“Nag file na ng kasong civil [si Revilla] upang pananagutin ang whistleblowers na sila mismo ang sindikato na may kagagawan ng PDAF scam,” he said. The case is now pending.

According to Bodegon, Revilla will again deliver a privilege speech to belie the allegations of Luy against him.