MANILA - Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. admitted he privately met with former Senator Panfilo Lacson at the height of the pork barrel scam, but clarified that their discussions on being a fugitive were all in jest.
Revilla said the meeting "was for the purpose of leaving the local elections in Cavite behind us. If you can remember, our sons contested and vied for the vice gubernatorial post of our province. Our meeting was an act of magnanimity from both sides, as we wanted to ensure that our friendship was not affected.”
Jokes were said during the discussion, including one about being a fugitive.
“Biniro niya [Lacson] ako na ‘Magtatago ka ba? Tuturuan kita. Nagawa ko na yan.’ Sabay tawa. Sagot ko naman ‘hindi ko yan kaya. Masyado ako malulungkot mag-isa.’ Sabay tawa na namin kaming dalawa," Revilla said.
He added that Lacson’s tone later turned serious, extending his sympathies for what the opposition senator was going through.
“He [Lacson] said that he understands since he was also persecuted in the past. He said he didn't want to hide from the law when he did, but he had to,” Revilla said.
He slammed the Philippine Daily Inquirer for imputing malice in the meeting.
On Thursday, the newspaper reported, “Weeks after the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam broke out in July last year, Sen. Ramon 'Bong' Revilla Jr. sought a meeting with Sen. Panfilo 'Ping' Lacson to ask how the one-time fugitive had evaded arrest, according to a source privy to the meeting.”
Revilla said the news report is foul.
“Sobra na ang paninira sa akin. Buti pa ang mga hayop at barbaro, alam kung kailan titigil. You don't hit a man when he's down. Pero heto, wala pa ring tigil ang pagsipa sa akin kahit bagsak na. Bahala nang Dios sa kanila,” he said.
Revilla is still in Israel for a Holy Week break. He said he will face the Ombudsman's indictment for plunder and graft head on when he comes back.
The Ombudsman earlier found sufficient evidence to file charges of plunder and graft against Revilla.
Once the Ombudsman affirms its indictment of Revilla, plunder and graft cases will filed before the anti-graft court, Sandiganbayan. The court will then rule on Revilla's arrest and bail.