MANILA - Several lawmakers on Friday said they were happy for former colleague, Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and his family after the actor-politician was acquitted in his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam case.
While calling the acquittal "good," Sen. Richard Gordon advised the former senator to "do it right."
“The lesson is make sure you do it right. The one the money is intended for, make sure that it is clearly being used not by the senator but by the government,” Gordon said.
The problem lies with the seeming mindset of some government officials of treating PDAF as their own, according to Gordon.
Senate President Tito Sotto, meanwhile, gave a curt reply: “I’m happy for him” when asked for his reaction.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto for his part said: “The Sandiganbayan has ruled. I was not present during the trial. I don’t know all the facts of the case. He is acquitted. Am very happy for him and family."
Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri said he “leaves (the decision) up to the court” and has begged off from commenting while confirming that he is friends with all the senators.
Senator Gringo Honasan, meanwhile, saw the acquittal as some sort of a fresh air for lawmakers implicated in the PDAF scam, primarily because “it can allow us to move forward."
"Move on na tayo. Let this be behind us, as long as two conditions are met: uphold the rule of law and apply due process," he said.
Revilla’s best friend, former senator Jinggoy Estrada who is also eyeing a Senate comeback in a separate text message stated: “So happy and elated by the decision of the Sandiganbayan. Justice is alive in our country. It just proves that we were really victims of selective justice during the past administration."
Revilla, Estrada, and former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile are all being implicated in the PDAF scam.
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, then-chaired by Senator TG Guingona, recommended the filing of charges against the three.
The report, signed by only 10 senators led by Guingona, was not formally adopted to the floor.