THE predicament that Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. is facing is part of the Aquino administration’s push for former senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd as its candidate for President in the 2016 elections.
The statement was made over the weekend by Revilla himself as he warned those who like him want to be successor to President Benigno Aquino 3rd that they could be the next obstacle that Malacanang wanted to clear to pave the way for Roxas’ bid.
The senator has been slapped with plunder charges over alleged misuse of his priority development assistance fund or pork barrel.
“They are doing all of these [apparently pro-Roxas moves]to remove all obstructions for the presidential bid of Boy Pick-up,” Revilla said in a radio interview aired over dzBB.
“Boy Pick-up” is the term he uses to refer to Roxas, now Interior and Local Government secretary, who ran apparent errands for President Benigno Aquino 3rd at the height of then-Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment trial.
Revilla, in a privileged speech delivered last year, revealed that it was Roxas who fetched and transported him to Malacañang where the President asked him to help convict Corona.
In January 2013, Senate President Franklin Drilon, vice chairman of the Liberal Party, announced that Roxas will be the presidential candidate of the ruling party, which is headed by Aquino, in the 2016 elections.
Revilla warned that after Malacañang succeeded in charging him and Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile for plunder, it turned its attention to Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Binay has been very vocal on his plan to run for president in 2016 and is considering Sen. Estrada as a potential running mate.
Meanwhile, Revilla said the pork barrel scam that led to the plunder charges against him is taking its toll on his children, including his youngest child who now has serious questions about his future.
The senator said his 12-year-old son was greatly affected by the filing of charges against him.
“I just told him that we need to face the issue and that the situation that the family is in right now is just temporary. The truth will come out,” he said.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th disagreed with Revilla that he is being singled out to make Roxas look good before the electorate.
He said he is convinced that the plunder cases being faced by the three senators and other individuals are valid based on the findings of the Office of the Ombudsman and documentary and testimonial evidence against them.
“Everybody can be scrutinized and everybody should be scrutinized especially if they are planning to run for President,” he said.
Trillanes recently expressed his readiness to run for vice president if the Nacionalista Party to which he belongs would allow him.