Bong won't wait for his arrest warrant

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jun 20 2014 07:30 AM | Updated as of Jun 20 2014 07:53 PM

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – Senator Ramon ''Bong'' Revilla Jr. on Friday said he is not going to wait for his arrest warrant to be served and will just voluntarily go to the Sandiganbayan.

Speaking to ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda from his house in Cavite, Revilla said he and his family will leave for the Sandiganbayan this morning.

''Kasama ang buong pamilya, kapatid ko --- sa aking huling hantungan. Siguro mga 7:30 to 8 a.m. nandon tayo,'' Revilla said.

As of posting, Revilla and his family were on their way to the Sandiganbayan in Quezon City. They are expected to drop by a church in Bacoor before heading to the anti-graft court.

The Sandiganbayan First Division on Thursday drafted the arrest warrants of Revilla and his co-respondents after it found probable cause for plunder and graft based on charges filed by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Revilla is accused of amassing P242 million from his pork barrel funds. He has denied the accusations, saying his signature in the pork barrel releases were forged.

He again accused the government of persecution. He added President Benigno Aquino III seems to be sparing his allies who have also been implicated in the pork barrel scam.

''Kung ako'y nasa Liberal kaya, ako kaya ay may kaso ngayon?" Revilla said, referring to the ruling Liberal Party, to which Aquino belongs.

Revilla said he may run for president in 2016, ''if the people ask him to."

''Mararamdaman natin iyon. Pero sa ngayon, ayaw ko munang isipin ang pulitika. Pero pag sinabi nilang tumakbo ako, magpa-file tayo ng candidacy,'' he said.

In a separate dzMM interview, Revilla dismissed a call from a member of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for him to apologize to the Filipino people.

''Para naman po yata tayong hinusgahan doon. Wala po akong kasalanan dito, kapag humingi ako ng tawad parang ginawa ko na ang sala na ito. Iyun lang. Masakit pakinggan pero kung talagang nagkasala tayo pwede tayong humingi ng tawad. Pero wala eh, 'di tayo nagkasala. Maaari po sigurong negligence. Kung sa aspeto na iyon, humihingi tayo ng tawad,'' he said.

Revilla's wife, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado, admitted that her husband being jailed could be the biggest challenge yet for her family.

''Mabigat po itong pangyayaring ito dahil hindi naman ordinary na dadalin sa piitan ang iyong asawa at aakusahan ng ganitong kalaking pagkakasala. We will miss him so much. Mahal namin si Sen. Bong Revilla at hindi namin maipagkakaila na iba kapag 'di namin siya kasama araw-araw,'' she said.

Revilla's camp asked the Supreme Court to reverse and annul the Office of the Ombudsman's resolutions that found probable cause against him, and junked his motion for reconsideration.

Revilla claimed the Ombudsman violated his right to due process, and the cases against him were born out of government's intent to persecute him.

If the Philippine National Police takes over from the Sandiganbayan sheriff, Revilla may be detained at the Custodial Center in Camp Crame, which has allegedly been refurbished for the accused in the pork scam. If the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) takes over, he will likely be detained at the NBI headquarters in Manila.

In a earlier interview with ANC, lawyer Joel Bodegon said Revilla will have to spend ''more nights'' in jail if the anti-graft court does not act on their petition for bail. The petition will be filed on Friday morning. – with a report from Eric Dastas, dzMM