“Barya (loose change)” is how a smiling Sen. Bong Revilla describes the millions of pesos he was accused of pocketing from government coffers in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, reports the Inquirer.
A confident senator faced the media, telling them he knows he will soon be vindicated because the government prosecutors do not have ample evidence to prove he amassed his wealth from public funds.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) previously announced they already checked on Revilla’s earnings in show business and already included those in their investigation, yet investigator Leigh Von Santos was not able to provide conclusive proof that Revilla amassed ill-gotten wealth.
Despite extensive investigation on all documents and records they could get their hands on, the AMLC could not simply find any incriminating documentary evidence that the deposits made by Revilla and his family in their bank accounts were suspicious in nature.
Although the pork barrel scam’s primary whistleblower appeared to have a list that closely matched the deposits made by the Revilla family in their bank accounts within 30 days after alleged mastermind Janet Lim Napoles sent them the money, the prosecutors could not directly show these on paper trails.
The AMLC believes “Nature Concepts is a dummy corporation” because it had no known business dealings at the time the huge deposits were made.
Speaking in front of the investigation panel, Santos admitted it was mere speculation on their part to say the money deposited in the accounts came from Napoles because there was no paper trail linking the money between Napoles and Revilla.
Of course, it should be taken into account that Luy said the kickbacks were often handed in bundles of cash, so there would surely be no ‘paper trail’ for that.
Earnings as highest paid actor
The detained senator was smiling when he said this money was mere ‘loose change’ compared with the wealth he gained as an actor. In a previous Kicker Daily article, it was reported that Revilla said he was among the highest paid actors in the Philippines. It was from his acting career that he amassed great wealth for his family.
The Inquirer reported that the senator reminded the media gathered outside the Sandiganbayan on Thursday that “not one of his movies ever flopped in the box office”. Every single cent of the money he owns was supposedly earned honestly.
“Truth has started to unravel,” Revilla said, especially because the government prosecutors kept on changing the amount of money he supposedly embezzled, making it appear that they are trying to manipulate the records to suit their case against him.
Now that Revilla feels so confident he is going to walk free from the plunder and graft charges he is facing, netizens are wondering whether the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will enter the picture. Known for being staunch campaigners for people to pay the right taxes, the BIR could be on Revilla’s heels soon.