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MANILA, Philippines – They’ve been colleagues in show business and politics. Will close friends and Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr also be together in jail?
A plunder complaint over the worst corruption scandal in recent Philippine history did not take away Estrada’s sense of humor. Revilla, his co-accused in the pork barrel scam case, greeted Estrada happy birthday during his birthday lunch at the Senate on Monday, February 17.
Estrada addressed Revilla, “Kakosa! Kakosa ko!” (cell mate), sparking laughter from Estrada’s guests and showbiz reporters.
Revilla said Estrada’s greeting showed how his friend and fellow actor was handling the controversy hounding them.
“Alam mo sa mga panahong ito, don’t take it seriously. Baka mamatay ka eh. Kapag sineryoso mo ang bawa’t ibinabato sa iyo ay baka mamatay ka na, atakehin ka sa puso. Siguro dapat just take it lightly katulad ng ginagawa niya.”
(These days, don’t take it seriously. You might die if you do. When you take all accusations hurled against you seriously, you might get a heart attack. Maybe it’s just better to take it lightly like he does.)
Revilla was quick to add, “Pero syempre, ayoko naman maging kakosa siya. Ayoko makulong kami. Ang maganda ngayon, dasal at sana ang mga nag-aakusa sa amin ay magising naman sila.”
(But of course, I don’t want to be his cell mate. I don’t want us to be jailed. The best thing to do now is to pray and hope our accusers wake up.)
Watch the video here:
Just like a movie
Revilla refused to talk about the pork barrel scam case, and only answered questions about his wish for Estrada and how they are handling the challenges.
“Maraming pagsubok na dumarating at lahat ng pagsubok na iyan, kaya natin iyan …. Ang pagsubok na dinadaanan namin, ‘di ko akalain pareho pa kaming mapapasok sa ganitong klase ng mga pagsubok na ‘di mo inaasahan. Pero ganoon pa man, mananaig pa rin ang katotohanan.”
(There are many challenges coming and all of those, we can handle those. I never thought we would be together in this challenge, that we would both be implicated in this kind of unexpected controversy. Nevertheless, the truth will still prevail.)
Revilla even compared their experience to a movie.
“Sa pelikula, binubugbog ka muna. Sa huli ka gaganti. ‘Di natin iniisip yun, basta manaig ang katotohanan at ipaubaya natin sa Panginoon.” (In the movie, you get beaten up first. You retaliate in the end. We’re not thinking of that so long as the truth prevails and we leave it up to the Lord.)
Revilla, Estrada and Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile are respondents in a plunder complaint before the Ombudsman for supposedly endorsing fake non-governmental organizations of alleged mastermind Janet Lim Napoles in exchange for millions of pesos in kickbacks.
Trip to the Holy Land?
Revilla also confirmed that he and his family are planning a trip to the Holy Land next month, upon the invitation of a pastor. The planned trip comes after the justice department asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to cancel the passports of the respondents in the scam.
“Ang gusto ko lang, makarating sa Holy Land, kasama ang pamilya ko, for 5 days, 6 days. Pinag-iisipan ko pa rin kung matutuloy ako pero gusto ko, kasi yun ang pangako ko September pa lang.”
(I want to visit the Holy Land with my family for 5 or 6 days. I am still thinking about it because that was my promise way back in September.)
Revilla’s lawyers asked the DFA to deny the justice department’s request, calling it illegal and a violation of his right to travel.
Revilla said though he would not insist on the trip but hopes the Ombudsman and the justice department will allow him to leave.
“Konsensya na lang nila basta tayo, gusto ko sana makarating sa Holy Land pero kung ‘di nila tayo papayagan, we can stay. I can pray here naman pero kung papayag sila salamat naman.” (That’s up to their conscience but for me, I want to reach the Holy Land. But if they won’t allow us, we can stay. I can pray here but if they allow me, thank you.)
He said he has no plans of evading the case, and would return. “Wala tayong planong tumakbo at wala tayong kinakatakot sa mga problemang ito.” (We have no plans of running away, and we don’t fear anything in these problems.) – Rappler.com