FORMER sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. said that he was also a victim in the controversy involving allegations that he misused his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel after prosecution witnesses in his trial on Thursday testified that they did not receive any agricultural package supposedly funded by his PDAF.
“Ah implementing agency ‘yun e, I have nothing to do with this, hindi ko kilala ‘tong mga tao na ‘to. So ‘yun…alam natin biktima sila. Biktima rin ako e. Dapat managot dito kung sino ‘yung dapat managot. Ghost project ito, sino ‘yun? Sino ‘yung nagpeke ng signature namin, sino ‘yung may kagagawan, dapat ‘yun ang managot. Not me. Three years na po ako nakakulong. ‘Yun ang masakit dito,” Revilla told reporters in an interview at the Sandiganbayan.
(Ah that is the implementing agency, I have nothing to do with this. I do not know who these people are. So there…we know that they are victims. I am also a victim. The one liable should be held accountable. This is a ghost project, who was it? Who forged our signatures, whoever is behind this should be held liable. Not me. I have been detained for three years already. That is what is painful here.)
The former lawmaker, who has been detained at the Philippine National Police custodial center since 2014, is facing a P224-million plunder charge, along with Richard Cambe, Janet Lim-Napoles, Ronald John Lim, and John Raymund de Asis before the anti-graft court’s first division.
At the resumption of the trial on Thursday, the prosecution presented four witnesses, including Quirino Vice Governor May Calaunan and Jeanien Cervantes, Registration Officer I of Atimonan, Quezon.
The vice governor, who was Diffun town mayor from 2001 to 2010, recalled being interviewed by Ombudsman investigators in 2013 and said that she told them that the municipality “did not receive any agricultural production kits or livelihood projects” from Revilla’s PDAF during her term.
Cervantes also recalled being interviewed by investigators and said that she told them that Atimonan town did not receive any agricultural package.
The prosecution also presented as witnesses town councilor Efren Notorio and farmer Sofronio Jimenez, both from Quezon province, who recalled being interviewed by investigators in 2013.
Notorio said that he told investigators that he was not receiving help from Revilla. For his part, Jimenez said that he told investigators that he did not receive any livelihood project.