Comelec: Revilla's sortie not a form of electioneering

By Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 18 2014 03:49 AM | Updated as of Jun 18 2014 11:49 AM

MANILA, Philippines - As far as election officials are concerned, Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. is not campaigning prematurely in going around Metro Manila.

James Jimenez, spokesman for the Commission on Elections (Comelec), said Revilla was not committing any form of electioneering since he is not yet an official candidate under Republic Act 9369 or the Poll Automation Law.

Revilla, reportedly eyeing the presidency in the 2016 polls under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, has been going around Metro Manila to drum up support and explaining himself regarding the pork barrel scam.

Revilla, along with fellow opposition Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, is facing imminent arrest before the Sandiganbayan over the fund scam.

The Sandiganbayan has already issued a hold departure order against the three senators, along with the other co-accused in the case.

On the issuance of the hold departure order, Revilla said he was expecting it. He gave assurance though that he has no plans of evading arrest. “I will face this. As I said before, I will not run away from all these,” he said.

In his sorties, Revilla is even singing John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” but stressed he is only leaving to go to jail.

He is also singing his own composition “Salamat, Kaibigan,” thanking his friends and supporters.

Revilla went to his office at the Senate yesterday despite the congressional recess. He told reporters that he is ready to go to jail anytime.

He said he is leaving it up to his legal team on issues about his place of detention although the Philippine National Police (PNP) has announced that they will be detained at its Custodial Center.

Revilla said he has already packed his belongings, which are already in his vehicle so he would be ready once arrested. He said he is bringing a Bible and some books to read in jail.

Revilla said he would take the opportunity to improve his abs and physical stamina while in detention.

“I heard computers and cell phones will not be allowed, so I’ll pass the time doing some push ups, pray a lot, read the Bible,” he said.– With Christina Mendez