Manila, Philippines (April 1) – “This is for my honor and integrity.”
Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. is resigning his senate seat effective April 30. The two-term senator made the announcement during a hastily-called press conference held at the Senate Tuesday afternoon.
“Inaamin ko po ang aking naging pagkakasala,” Revilla said, his voice occasionally wavering. “Dahil po dito, ako po ay nagpasyang magbitiw na sa Senado,” he added. His wife, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla, stood beside him during his speech.
“Pasensya na po sa milyon-milyong Pilipino na bumoto sa akin noong 2004 at 2010,” Revilla continued, fighting back tears. The actor-politician topped the senate race on both election cycles.
Once regarded as a potential contender for the 2016 presidential polls, Revilla’s public image has taken a big hit since the pork barrel fund scam erupted July of last year. He however remained mum if he still intends to run for the presidency. “I’ll cross the bridge when I get there,” he said.
Revilla’s stunning announcement came a few hours after Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairperson of the Senate blue ribbon committee, recommended the filing of plunder charges against Revilla as well as Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.
The three legislators are being accused of colluding with businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles in diverting millions of pesos from their respective priority development assistance funds (PDAF) toward fictitious non-government organizations.
In a privilege speech last January, Revilla admitted knowing Napoles personally but denied committing any wrongdoing. He likewise accused the administration of President Benigno Aquino III of being behind the attacks against him.
Speaking to reporters after the speech, Revilla said he will focus on hosting “Kaps Amazing Stories” once he leaves the Senate. “I will also do a movie with (former) Senator Miguel Zubiri. It is a local adaptation of Alibaba and the Forty Thieves,’” Revilla added.