‘I forgive them’: Senator Bong Revilla says about Pinoys who wish him dead

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., on the road to recovery from COVID-19, said it pained him to learn that many of his countrymen wished him dead. But just the same, he said he’s forgiven everyone who wished him ill.
The senator said this in an emotional 14-minute Facebook Live video that was broadcast yesterday from his home after he was discharged from the hospital. The senator was hospitalized for pneumonia and was discharged earlier this week.
“When I was in quarantine, it saddens me that some people, instead of wishing that you recover, there are those wishing you would die. It’s sad. But nevertheless, for my part, I forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing. I still love you even if you wish that on me,” Bong said in English and Filipino.
Read: Prayers, ridicule pile in as COVID-19 patient Bong Revilla develops pneumonia
He also thanked supporters who prayed for his recovery and disclosed that life had been tough especially with the death of his father, Ramon Revilla Sr., late last month. The younger Revilla said that his family is still grieving the loss of the patriarch, who passed away due to a lingering illness.
The 53-year-old senator said he will be on his 21st day of isolation today and is no longer experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Bong will be taking another swab test to ensure that he has fully recovered from COVID-19 and urged the public to get tested if they experience flu-like symptoms.
“As soon as you experience body pains, cough, colds, or like me, sore eyes, isolate yourselves immediately, if you love your family…so that you will not infect anyone else,” Bong said.
Swab tests in the country range from PHP3,500 (US$72) to PHP8,100 (US$167) and many struggling Filipinos cannot afford to get tested. The government has also said that it is unable to conduct mass testing.
Shortly after Bong was rushed to the hospital for treatment last week, critics joked that he should “stay positive,” and rehashed details of the corruption allegations that have hounded him since 2013.
The lawmaker allegedly diverted his pork barrel funds to sketchy non-government organizations managed by businesswoman Janet Napoles and earned as much as PHP244.5 million (US$5 million) in commissions. While Napoles and Revilla’s former chief of staff Richard Cambe were found guilty, Bong was acquitted by the Sandiganbayan but was ordered to pay back PHP124.5 million (US$2.5 million) to the government. The senator has insisted that the court cannot force him to pay up because his acquittal has cleared him of any civil liability.
Despite the acquittal, he is still facing 16 counts of graft and stands accused for allegedly releasing PHP517 million (US$10 million) of his pork barrel to the National Agribusiness Corporation, the Technology Resource Center, and the National Livelihood and Development Corporation.
Bong posted a PHP480,00 (US$9,900) bail two years ago for the pending charges.
This article, ‘I forgive them’: Senator Bong Revilla says about Pinoys who wish him dead, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!