MANILA — The expected comeback of former senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. in the Senate will be more about lawmaking and less about his viral "budots" dance, the once detained lawmaker said Saturday.
In an interview with radio station DWIZ, Revilla was asked for his reaction to memes showing him simply gyrating in the Senate halls instead of doing legislative work.
The "budots" dance was the highlight of his campaign, with critics citing how he had failed to talk about his plan of governance.
But Revilla dismissed the insinuation of the meme and bragged about his previous performance as a senator.
"You know kung papano ako magtrabaho. Kung ano man ang komiteng ating mahawakan, tayo'y magsisilbi sa bayan. Tayo'y magpe-perform sa Senado, hindi tayo magsasayaw lang diyan," he said.
(You all know how I work. Whatever committee I will be asked to chair, I will do it to serve the nation. We will perform in the Senate, we won't just dance there.)
The Senate frontrunner even offered to teach his co-senators the viral dance "so they don't have to take their lives too seriously."
"Pero don't worry... tuturuan kong sumayaw ng budots 'yung mga kasamahan natin sa Senado para maging masaya sila at hindi seryoso sa buhay diba?"
(But don't worry... I will teach my colleagues in the Senate the budots dance so they would be happy and not take life too seriously.)
Revilla's viral "budots" dance was part of his elaborate campaign ads, for which he spent an estimated P128,718,571, according to a PCIJ report.
In a previous interview, Revilla acknowledged the viral dance and credited it for his projected "Magic 12" finish in the Senate race.
"Siyempre malaking bagay din 'yung mga ad, 'yung budots malaking bagay din... Dun sa budots kinagat dahil siyempre pagka magma-market ka, tulad ng pelikula, kailangan magugustuhan ng viewers kung ano 'yung gagamitin mo."
(Of course the ad was a big factor, budots was a big factor. People liked budots... of course when you are marketing something, like movies, people have to like it.)
Revilla is currently on the 11th spot in the Senate race with 14,534,357 votes, based on 98.18 percent of partial and unofficial election returns as of 4:20 p.m. Saturday.
Revilla's last Senate term was abbreviated in 2014 after he was charged with plunder for allegedly pocketing over P220 million in discretionary funds in the multibillion-peso scheme tagged as the pork barrel scam.
He went into a forced political hiatus and was detained for 4 years until he was acquitted of plunder last December. He is still facing16 other counts of graft and is out on bail.
Government prosecutors insist that while acquitted, Revilla should pay P124.5 million to the government as civil liability along with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles and his former staff Richard Cambe, who were both found guilty of plunder.
- report from Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News