MANILA - Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla is firing back at his accusers by filing a damage suit before the Cavite Regional Trial Court against several whistle-blowers in the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam.
Revilla's lawsuit asked the court to nullify the accounting records submitted by key pork scam whistle-blower Benhur Luy to the National Bureau of Investigation.
Levito Baligod, lawyer of the pork scam whistle-blowers, said Revilla is also asking the court to nullify letters of request submitted by his office to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) requesting for the release of his priority development assistance funds (PDAF).
Revilla earlier said his signatures in the letters were forged.
Revilla also wants Luy, Marina Sula and four other pork barrel scam whistle-blowers to return P520 million taken from his pork barrel funds, which allegedly went to non-government organizations they previously headed.
Revilla is a respondent in plunder charges filed before the Office of the Ombudsman. He is accused of pocketing P224.5 million in kickbacks given by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
Aside from Revilla, 37 others are facing plunder, bribery, malversation and graft charges for allegedly benefiting in the scam that saw billions of pesos in pork barrel funds coursed to fake non-government organizations.
Baligod said he sees no basis in the the charges filed by Revilla, noting that the senator cannot annul Luy's personal accounting records.
"Walang basehan yan sa batas. He is not even a party to those documents. Pwede mo lang i-pa annul ang isang dokumento kung isa ka sa nagprepare niyan at sasabihin mong mali ang pagka-prepare kagaya ng isang kontrata," he told radio dzMM.
He said Revilla cannot sue Luy for the alleged forgery of his signatures because the latter did not receive the letters. He said it was Revilla's staff who processed the documents and submitted it to the DBM, which then released the funds.
"Mukhang nananaginip po yata sila," he said.
Finally, he said the whistle-blowers who are presidents of the fake NGOs have no authority to release Revilla's pork barrel funds. He said Mrs. Napoles and legislators conspired so that government agencies such as the Department of Agrarian Reform and Department of Agriculture would release the pork barrel funds to NGOs that she set up.
Baligod said Revilla's lawsuit is only meant to put pressure on the whistle-blowers. He said the lawsuit also shows that the senator is admitting that letters of request in his name were submitted to DBM.
"Kung hindi niya na naiintindihinan masyado yung kanyang aksyon ngayon ng pagfile ng ganyang civil case makakasama sa kanya sa kanyang legal situation, dahil sa pagfile niya sa case na yan to declare certain documents as void, at least nire-recognize niya ngayon na there really exists certain documents," he said.