'Bong's surrender an appeal to emotions'

Posted at 06/20/14 5:01 PM

MANILA - A lawyer of three pork barrel scam whistleblowers believes the surrender of Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. is just his way to be spared the humiliation of being picked up by arresting authorities.

Atty. Lourdes Benipayo claimed Revilla's voluntary appearance before the Sandiganbayan on Friday morning is part of his strategy to appeal to the emotions of the Filipino people despite the plunder and graft charges filed against him.

Benipayo said it seems most of the senator's actions are being staged for the people to pity him and his family, and for him to gain public sympathy.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of key whistleblower Benhur Luy said there is nothing extraordinary in the Sandiganbayan's issuance of arrest warrants and the eventual surrender of Revilla.

In a text message to ABS-CBN, Atty. Raji Mendoza said issuance of warrants is part of the normal process and essential for the Sandiganbayan to exercise and preserve its jurisdiction.

He added that the pace being set by the Sandiganbayan this early would likely gain momentum, and that it is good for all parties involved and for the country.

Revilla surrendered to the anti-graft court on Friday morning after its First Division ordered his arrest for plunder and graft charges over the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

He is now detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame.