MANILA, Sept 30 (Mabuhay) – Embattled Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. on Wednesday admitted that he wanted to run for president in 2016 elections, but the plan has been setback by the plunder case that he is facing in connection to the pork barrel scam.
“Aaminin natin na talagang plano nating tumakbo sa pagkapangulo. Sa tingin ko nga isa yun sa dahilan kung bakit ako nandidito sa kulungan,” Revilla told reporters in a chance interview after the deferred pretrial of his plunder case before the Sandiganbayan First Division.
Revilla is facing plunder and 16 counts of graft for allegedly amassing P224.5 million in kickbacks by allocating portions of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), commonly known as pork barrel to the fake foundations allegedly owned by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the scam’s alleged mastermind.
He has been detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City since his surrender in June last year.
Revilla said that more than running for a higher office in 2016, his priority right now is to clear his name from the pork barrel scam.
“As of now, I want to clear my name muna. Yung pangalan na iningatan ko sa napakahabang panahon, sinira ng ganun kabilis,” Revilla said.
“Yung pagtakbo, I’m not in a hurry. I’m still young. Ang importante sa ngayon lumabas ang katotohanan at malinis ko ang pangalan ko,” Revilla added.
On Wednesday, the First Division ruled to reset the pretrial of Revilla’s plunder case to February next year after the prosecution and the defense admitted that they are not yet done with marking the evidence, which they intend to present during the trial proper of the case.
It was the second time that the pretrial of the senator’s case was reset by the court due to both camp’s failure to finish the marking of evidence.
“Sayang at medyo madi-delay na naman yung ating trial proper. One year and three months na ‘ko ngayon sa piitan, ganun talaga. Pero may awa din ang Diyos,” Revilla said.
Asked on whether he intends to run for any other post aside from the presidency, Revilla said he is yet to decide but is keeping his options open.
“Well, bahala na, let’s wait and see… I really don’t know yet. I’m at a loss,” Revilla said.
Revilla, meanwhile, said that he is not giving up on his ambition to run for higher office.
“Basta ang masasabi ko, bata pa ako. Babangon si Bong Revilla. Hintayin natin sa tamang panahon,” Revilla said.
Revilla’s term in the Senate will expire on June 30, 2016.(MNS)