Bong Revilla to run for senator in 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Former senator Ramon "Bong" Revillar Jr is running for senator in the 2019 elections.

Former Leyte 1st district Representative Martin Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), announced this on Friday, October 5.

"I am pleased and honored to officially announce the candidacy for the Senate of Senator Bong Revilla Jr, our party chairman. This decision was reached after a series of consultations with his family, close friends, constituents and political leaders," Romualdez said in a statement sent to media.

"Senator Bong’s integrity and honesty will make him a strong candidate for the Senate. With the people and God’s help, the Lakas-CMD is looking forward to his victory in next year’s midterm poll," Romualdez said.

Aside from Revilla, Romualdez said Lakas-CMD will also support the senatorial candidates to be endorsed by Hugpong ng Pagbabago, the regional party of presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio.

Revilla is in detention for his supposed involvement in the pork barrel scam. He is charged with plunder for allegedly pocketing P224.5 million in kickbacks through the scam, by funnelling his discretionary funds to fake non-governmental organizations (NGO) of alleged scam mastermind Janet Napoles.

The Sandiganbayan's 1st Division ended Revilla’s trial on August 9. The case is now submitted for decision – the first-ever pork barrel scam case to be finished.

Other former senators implicated – Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada – are out on bail, with Estrada also eyeing a Senate comeback in 2019. –

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email