MANILA, Philippines – Saying detractors should leave his son alone, Sen Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr on Thursday, August 15, blasted as “malicious” a story about his child’s business with the son of alleged pork barrel queen Janet Lim-Napoles.
In a statement under the subject “Press Statement on Rappler Article,” Revilla on Thursday explained that his son, Leonard Bryan Bautista, was a high school classmate of Napoles’ son, James Christopher Napoles.
“I understand that they, with other friends, went into a business of importing and selling rubber shoes together,” Revilla said. He said this was PB&J Corp, which was incorporated on Jan 1, 2011 and was the subject of a Rappler exclusive on Wednesday, August 14.
“It is unfortunate that a legal undertaking between associates is being tainted with malice. Their business endeavor is legal and legitimate,” Revilla said. “I think that this malicious story is another attempt by some sectors to malign us.”
He added: “Kung gusto akong sirain, ako na lang. ‘Wag na sanang idamay ang anak ko.” (If you want to destroy me, just deal with me instead. Please leave my son alone.)
Revilla also denied knowing Napoles well.
“I was introduced once or twice to Ms Napoles, and have seen her occasionally in certain social gatherings. Aside from the customary ‘Hi’s and Hello’s,’ we had no other interaction with each other,” Revilla said.
Photos obtained by Rappler show Napoles, as well as some of her family members, attending a party apparently hosted by Sen Jinggoy Estrada. One of these photos shows Revilla posing with Napoles.
Revilla earlier denounced the pork barrel scam as a demolition job. “Just because there are people urging me to run for 2016, they will already ruin my name?” – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.