REVILLA INNOCENT ‘TIL PROVEN GUILTY

Revilla innocent ’til proven guilty

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Published : Sunday, June 22, 2014 00:00

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SENATOR Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. remains innocent unless proven guilty.

This is the stand of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), whose officers and members vowed to support Revilla in his fight for the truth in the pork barrel fund scandal.

Lakas-CMD president Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said that Revilla’s decision to surrender does not mean admission of guilt on the plunder and graft charges but only shows his respect for the rule of law.

“Just because he has been confined at the PNP Custodial Center  does not mean that Sen. Bong Revilla Jr. is already guilty of plunder over the ‘pork barrel’ scam,” Romualdez said a day after Revilla was put in jail.

Romualdez, also the head of the House Independent Minority bloc, appealed to the public not to judge Revilla but wait for the decision of the Sandiganbayan.

The First division headed by Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz has issued an arrest warrant for Revilla and his co-accused for one count of plunder and 16 counts of graft.

Few hours after the release of the arrest warrant, Revilla, accompanied by his wife Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado and children, went to the Sandiganbayan to voluntarily surrender.

“Now that Sen. Revilla has voluntarily turned himself in to the Sandiganbayan,  people should only listen to the Court from now on regarding anything about the case,” Romualdez said.

A lawyer himself, Romualdez emphasized that under the law, it’s only the Sandiganbayan which has the legal and moral authority to declare if Revilla is indeed guilty or not.

“Nobody else can, not even President Aquino or his spokespersons, the media or any private individual,” the solon pointed out.

“Whoever tries to condition or influence the public mind of the senator’s guilt in any manner whatsoever is the one who’s trying to cover up something unlawful and immoral,” he added.

Romualdez also lauded Revilla for his brave but humble gesture of  cooperation with the Sandiganbayan and the Philippine National Police.

The House leader reiterated his and Lakas-CMD’s all-out support for Revilla throughout the trial of the senator’s case.

“We will not intervene with the trial in any way butut we will dig deeper into the scam and continue pressing this administration for the same probe of all personalities being linked to the fraud.  There should be no political color and the President’s allies should be included,” Romualdez said.Ryan Ponce Pacpaco

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