Bong Revilla on 2016 bid: 'No law prohibits it'

MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr said on Thursday, May 21, that he remains "open" to seeking higher office in 2016 despite his legal troubles.

Revilla made the statement in an interview with reporters at the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, where he was supposed to attend a pre-trial conference which was cancelled, radio station dzMM reported.

Asked if he would seek higher office in 2016, the senator said, "Ang tanong ko lang: Mayroon bang nagbabawal na tumakbo ang isang nakakulong? Wala namang batas na nagbabawal 'di ba?"

(My question: Is there anything that bars a detained individual from running? There's no law that prohibits it, right?)

He added: "My option is open. Malinis ang aking konsensya, lalabas at lalabas ang katotohanan. Nakahanda ako pero sa tamang panahon (My conscience is clear. The truth would come out. I am ready, but at the right time)."

Responding to questions, Revilla acknowledged the negative impact of the corruption charges against him, on his public image, but expressed hoped that he and his family would recover from the controversy.

Revilla declined to say whether he would aspire for the presidency or the vice presidency, and joked that he might be kept in jail longer if he announces anything.

He said, however, that some people have visited him in Camp Crame, where he is detained, to discuss his possible 2016 bid.

Revilla has been eyed  as the standard bearer of his party, Lakas CMD. In March 2014, before he was charged with plunder and graft, the senator had said that the corruption allegations against him had no bearing on his 2016 bid.

He had been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame since June 2014.  –