DAVAO CITY - Former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. slammed their online critics Thursday, as they continued to burnish their image tainted by their graft and plunder cases in connection to the pork barrel scam.
Both Estrada and Revilla admitted they are aware of the “memes” on social media platforms labeling them as thieves.
“I would be a hypocrite if I will tell you I’m not affected by the criticism against me on social media. I am human, too. I also get hurt,” Estrada told reporters on the sidelines of Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s miting de avance.
Estrada maintained, “these issues are already rehashed.”
Asked whether the online basing he received contributed to his slide in the surveys, the former senator said: “They won’t stop bashing me. Maybe there’s some unscrupulous elements who wanted me out.”
Estrada, who won in the 2004 and 2010 Senate elections, said his 2019 bid is perhaps the hardest for him “because of the issue against me,” referring to his pork barrel cases.
Revilla, meanwhile, said his detractors are still at it even if the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan already acquitted him in his plunder case.
“They won’t stop. Until now they bash me on Facebook and continue to hurl hurtful words against me,” he said.
Estrada, who has been out on bail since September 2017, is accused of pocketing P183 million in kickbacks from fake projects, purportedly with help from businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged scam mastermind.
He was granted bail by the anti-graft court on the basis that he was not the "main plunderer." He is still facing trial.
Revilla, meanwhile, was acquitted of plunder case in December 2018.
The prosecution had accused the actor-turned-politician of embezzling P224 million in discretionary funds while he was still senator.
Government prosecutors insist that while acquitted, Revilla should pay P124.5 million to the government as civil liability along with Napoles and his former staff Richard Cambe, who were both found guilty of plunder.
Revilla is still facing 16 other counts of graft and had posted bail for his temporary liberty.