Bong Revilla: Handa akong mapiit
MANILA - Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. on Monday said he is ready to go to jail despite his insistence that he is innocent of the crime of plunder.
In his privilege speech Monday, Revilla said his conscience is clear and that he will answer all the charges before the proper court.
This is after the Ombudsman filed plunder charges last Friday against him and opposition senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile for their alleged links to the pork scam.
"Handa akong mapiit at magsakripisyo dahil alam kong sa tamang panahon ay lalabas at mangingibaw pa rin ang katotohanan. Naniniwala pa rin ako na ang Korte ay hindi papayag na mangibabaw ang kawalan ng katarungan," he said.
He also said he is willing to go to jail if it will become the "key to justice" in the country.
"Kung ang pagkakakulong ko ang siyang magiging susi sa pinto ng hustisya ay malugod ko itong tatanggapin. Nakapiring po ang katarungan, at magkakaroon din ang tunay na hustisya. Kung hindi man ngayon, sa naaayong panahon," he added.
He said he will continue to work for his countrymen even if he is imprisoned. He thanked the 20 million Filipinos who voted him into office and continued to support him through the years.
Revilla is accused of pocketing at least P224.51 million in Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF), along with his political adviser, Richard Cambe; Janet Lim Napoles, and Ronald John Lim.
On Monday, Revilla said it could be the last time he will deliver a speech before the Senate after the filing of the charges before the anti-graft court.
In his speech, the senator challenged President Aquino to end what he described as political mudslinging in the country.
He also said the pork barrel scam could be part of a bigger scheme to discredit the Senate and push for Charter change.
He said that instead of jailing his oppositors, Aquino should focus on helping the Filipinos out of poverty.
"Lead this country not with hatred but with love. Lead the country towards unity and not partisanship. Push our nation’s interest and not political agenda," he said.
"You still have 2 remaining years...Jailing your oppositors should not be the only achievement and legacy you will be leaving behind," he added.
Revilla then read off a list of names he wanted to acknowledge, from God, his family, fellow senators and fans.
He drew laughter when he referred to his co-accused, Senator Estrada, as "kosa" which is Filipino slang for inmate.
The movie star-legislator capped off his speech with a music video.
A Palace spokesperson earlier said the filing of the plunder charges is a step forward in the determination of the truth.
Deputy Presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte has also rejected claims that the filing of the plunder charges was rushed in time for President Aquino's State of the Nation Address.