Revilla dares Aquino: Tell the truth, ‘Boy Tango’
MANILA, Philippines – Watch out for the sequel of “Ito Ba Ang Daang Matuwid?”
Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr said he will deliver a second privilege speech next week after President Benigno Aquino III denied asking him to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
At the same time, the senator referred to the President as "Boy Tango," a sarcastic stress on his silence on what really transpired during their secret meeting with Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II in 2012.
“Bakit siya nandoon in the first place, tapos hinahayaan niyang si Secretary Mar magsalita about the impeachment? Ano siya tango lang nang tango? Ano siya si Boy Tango? Ang punto lang natin dito, maging totoo lang tayo.”
(Why was he there in the first place and now just leave Secretary Mar to explain about the impeachment? What is he doing just nodding? Is he Mr Nod? Our only point here is let’s be honest.)
Revilla earlier derisively called Roxas "Boy Pick-up" because he was the one who fetched Revilla and drove him to the President's residence for the meeting.
Manipulating key witness?
The actor-turned-senator said he will deliver a privilege speech again after principal whistleblower Benhur Luy alleged that his father, former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr, was also involved in the pork barrel scam. (READ Rappler's report on the wealth of the old man Revilla)
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will study the possibility of filing a complaint against Revilla's father if Luy is willing to execute a sworn statement. She said she will ask the NBI if Luy mentioned the allegation before.
In an interview on Wednesday, January 22, Revilla accused Malacañang of "manipulating” Luy to make the accusation.
“Nakikita natin sinususian nila ano ang gustong sabihin ng whistleblower,” Revilla said. “Di na nila ginalang ang aking ama na matanda na, maysakit, naka-wheelchair. Nakakalungkot. Wala talaga silang puso.”
(We see they are really controlling what the whistleblowers will say. They have no respect for my father who is old, sickly and wheelchair-bound. It’s sad. They have no heart.)
Revilla said Aquino and the Palace resorted to implicating his father to cover up the allegations he made in his privilege speech on Monday.
The senator had said Aquino specifically asked him to convict Corona during a secret meeting in Malacañang, a charge the President denied. Aquino said he only met with Revilla and 3 other senators to ask them to vote based on the merits of the case.
Revilla responded, “’Di ba siya kinikilabutan sa sinasabi niyang wala siyang sinabi sa akin? Bilib na sana ako sa kanya, inamin niyang hinarap niya ang mga senador.”
(Isn’t he getting goosebumps with what he's saying that he didn’t tell me anything? I was almost impressed with him for admitting he met with senators.)
Revilla faces a plunder complaint for allegedly siphoning off his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to non-governmental organizations of alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles in exchange for P224.51 million in kickbacks.
‘Daan na bangin ang dulo’
Revilla also responded to Aquino’s barb during the groundbreaking of the Skyway Stage 3 on Wednesday. Aquino took a swipe at Revilla while hailing the project.
Aquino said, “Hindi pinanday ng pantasya, at mas lalong hindi gawa-gawa na parang eksena sa isang pelikula – totoo at kongkretong mga proyekto ang hatid ng ating tuwid at mabuting pamamahala para sa kapakanan ng sambayanang Pilipino.”
(It was not fabricated by fantasy nor is it made up like a scene in a movie – it's a real and concrete project that is brought by our honest and good government for the benefit of the Filipino people.)
Revilla lashed back: “Anong tuwid na daan ang sinasabi niya? Daan na bangin ang dulo?” (What straight and narrow path is he talking about? A path with a ravine at the end?)
“Manindigan tayo sa tama, sagutin niya ang dapat niyang sagutin at sasagutin ko rin ang dapat kong sagutin. Ang amin nasa korte na. Ang kanya, sagutin niya ng tama. Huwag kung anu-ano sinasabi niya.”
(He should stand for what is right, answer what he needs to address, and I will answer what I need to address. Our case is in the courts. As for him, he should answer the allegations and not say all these things.)
‘I have to ask dad’
After his privilege speech, Revilla had said that it was a huge relief to air his side (binunutan ng tinik sa lalamunan). Yet he said the new allegations against his father worsened his ordeal.
On Wednesday, the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Luy as saying that the 86-year-old former senator and actor also give his PDAF to Napoles NGOs between 2003 and 2004.
“Parang tinarakan na naman nila ako ng sibat. Binalik uli nila,” Revilla Jr said. (It’s as if they stabbed me again. They brought back the pain.)
Revilla questioned the timing of Luy’s allegations against his father. He said his lawyers are studying possible legal action against Luy.
“Bakit ngayon lang niya sinabi iyan. Why only now? Ininvolve na ang anak ko, si Bryan, pati ang father ko, baka ang susunod niyan apo ko na,” he retorted.
(Why is he saying that only now? Why only now? They already involved my son Bryan, now my father. Who is next, my grandchild?)
Rappler earlier reported that the senator’s eldest son Leonard Bryan Bautista co-owned a business with Napoles’ son, James Christopher Napoles, and her nephew Ronald Lim Jr. Senator Revilla though said the business was a “legal undertaking” and described the story as “malicious.”
For all his lamentations, Revilla said he will have to ask his father if the allegations are true. He said Revilla Sr did not mention anything about the issue to him.
“Kasi 'di naman maglalakas ng loob 'yun kung may nilagay siyang pondo kay Napoles. Bakit maglalakas siya ng loob sabihin sa akin, ‘Anak magsalita ka na. Ipaglaban mo ang katotohanan’ kung meron siyang tinatago? Bakit niya sasabihin sa akin 'yun?”
(He would not have the heart to tell me to tell the truth if he gave funds to Napoles. Why will he say, ‘Son, fight for the truth’ if he is hiding something? Why would he tell me that?)
Revilla said he asked his household members to stage a “news blackout” so his father will not know about the Inquirer report. He said he would go to his father after leading the prayer during the Senate session.
Asked what he will say in his second speech, Revilla said, “Surprise.”
He is anticipating any move from Malacañang. “Pasabugin na nila anong pasasabugin nila. Kami’y nakahanda.” (They can drop whatever bombshell they want. We are ready.) – Rappler.com