Revilla throws mud at PNoy, denies 'pork' allegation

Louis Bacani - The Philippine Star

'Aquino asked me to convict Corona'

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATED) Senator Bong Revilla Jr. on Monday turned the tables on the Aquino administration as he again denied involvement in the alleged pork barrel scam.

In a televised privilege speech, Revilla fired back criticisms at the Aquino administration, among them was about the President's alleged interference in the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona at the Senate.

Revilla said he secretly met with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Budget Secretary Butch Abad and President Aquino before the Senate voted to convict Corona in 2012.

He said Roxas, whom he called "Boy Pickup," first invited him to his house in Cubao in Quezon City.

Revilla said the Interior Secretary then drove him personally to Malacañang for a breakfast and meeting with the President and Abad.

He claimed that the President then personally asked him to vote in favor of the conviction.

“Pare, parang awa mo na, ibalato mo nasa akin ito. Kailangan siyang ma-impeach,” the senator quoted the President as saying.

Revilla said Abad allegedly added: "Magtulungan tayo, senador."

While feeling pressured by the President's request, Revilla said he promised nothing and only told the President that he will do "what is right."

In his speech, however, Revilla questioned whether it was right for the President to interfere in the impeachment proceedings at the upper house.

"Ginoong Pangulo, kung pag-uusapan lang naman po natin ang tama at mali, tama po ba na habang nililitis ang dating Chief Justice na si Renato Corona ay kailangang makialam ang mismong Pangulo ng Republika sa isang prosesong legal na dapat ay independyente?" Revilla asked.

'Is this the Daang Matuwid?'

Revilla also attacked the Aquino administration for allegedly using the pork barrel scam to cover up its supposed failures.

“Gusto ko pong ipaabot sa mga minamahal nating mga kababayan na lahat ng ito ay isang palabas lamang ng gobyernong nabigong maglingkod nang totohanan sa publiko at nagkukunwaring may malasakit sa bayan gamit ang propagandang tuwid na daan," Revilla said.

The actor-politican also assailed the Aquino administration over the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program and the supposed shortcomings in the government's relief and rehabilitation efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon "Yolanda."

He also cried of "harassment" from the Aquino administration, saying politics was behind the allegations hurled against him.

"Is this the Daang Matuwid?" Revilla repeatedly said this in Filipino in his speech.

Like Senators Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, Revilla is facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly pocketing pork barrel funds that were diverted to bogus non-government organizations supposedly set up by Napoles.

But Revilla once again denied hand in the pork barrel scam as he asked for a chance to clear his name.

"For the record, I have nothing to do with this scam, those whistleblowers, nor Janet Lim-Napoles. I have no dealings or transactions with them," Revilla said

The senator said he did not sign the documentary evidence presented by the government and by the alleged scam whistleblowers.

He said the signatures were forged by key whistleblower Benhur Luy whom he called as "Boy Pirma," adding that there there was a "SARO Gang" in government offices involved in the controversy.

Revilla also denied that a certain lawyer identified as Richard Cambe was his chief of staff and received money on his behalf, as claimed by Luy.

"Kung humahaba lang ang ilong ni Benhur Luy na yan, malamang umabot na ang ilong niya mula dito sa Senado hanggang sa Malacanang," he said.

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