MANILA - Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. on Sunday said he is not interested in seeking the presidency despite being floated as a possible candidate of his Lakas-CMD party.
Revilla issued the statement following reports that his partymate Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay was urging him to be its standard bearer, as Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has no intention of running for president.
"I am honored by the trust and confidence of the Party and our kababayans, but I have no intention (running for the Presidency)," Revilla said.
On Oct. 8, Anna Capella Velasco and Lyle Fernando Uy filed certificates of candidacy for president and vice president under Lakas-CMD, the political party of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Pichay initially admitted to ABS-CBN News that the two candidates were just "placeholders" as the party had yet to decide who to field for President.
He later denied saying that their relatively unknown candidates were placeholders, saying he didn't understand the word placeholder.
Revilla was acquitted of plunder in 2018, over his alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel.
Two of his co-accused, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and Revilla's former chief-of-staff Richard Cambe, were found guilty of plunder by the anti-graft court.
In July this year, Revilla was also acquitted of graft charges related to the pork barrel scam.
His lawyer said that despite the report from the Anti-Money Laundering Council showing P87 million in deposits entering his family’s bank accounts from 2006 to 2010, the prosecution failed to establish that Revilla received PDAF kickbacks.
Pichay meanwhile was acquitted of graft earlier this year in a case stemming from his sponsorship of a chess match during his term in the Local Water Utilities Administration.