A high-ranking official of the Lakas-CMD yesterday said that detained former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. will decide next week whether to run for the Senate or not.
In a radio interview, Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay, a stalwart of Lakas, said that Revilla will make a formal announcement probably on his birthday on September 25.
Revilla, Lakas’ chairman, is presently detained over involvement in the pork barrel fund scam and accused of allegedly pocketing P243 million worth of commission from Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) projects.
According to Pichay, he and several Lakas-CMD members visited Revilla recently in his detention cell in the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center.
The Lakas members are convincing Revilla to run for the Senate again, Pichay said.
“We still consider him a very important part of the party,” Pichay said, as he expressed confidence that the former Senator has a big chance of winning again.
Citing results of a private survey, Pichay said Revilla still ranks number 7 despite the fact that he is not saying anything about reelection.
“Sa private surveys lumalabas Number 7 siya. Yan di pa naga-announce na tatakbo. Pag nag-announce ‘yan, tataas ‘yan,” he said.
According to Pichay, Revilla is still undecided because he wants to focus on his plunder case at the Sandiganbayan.
And because his bail petition was not granted, it would be difficult for him to campaign, Pichay added.
“At first he refused. [Sabi niya] ‘Hind muna siguro, aayusin ko muna itong kaso ko. Wala naman tayo kasalanan.’ Pero at the end of the day, sabi niya, kasi pinipilit talaga siya, kahit ‘di ka makakampanya, kami na lang, marami ka namang kaibigan. Sabi niya, ‘Give me a few days’,” Pichay said.
The younger Revilla intends to consult his father former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr.
Earlier, Pichay said the Lakas is considering fielding their own candidates for the midterm elections next year.
In another development the Sandiganbayan First Division has submitted for resolution the plunder case against Revilla Jr..
Four years after it was filed, the anti-graft division has submitted for decision the plunder case of Revilla who was accused of pocketing P224.5-million in commissions on pork barrel funds.
With Ryan Ponce Pacpaco