Palace: Revilla got nod for travel to Holy Land

Posted at 03/30/14 1:00 PM

MANILA -- Malacanang may not be bothered at all by Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.’s leaving the country for Israel amid the ongoing probe on the pork barrel scam.

In an interview with radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Palace was able to verify the news with Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison.

“They were able to get authority from the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives,” said Coloma, who did not comment further.

Revilla, along with wife Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla, left for Israel on Saturday night. The Revilla family will be spending the Holy Week there.

The Revilla camp insisted they were going to the Holy Land to seek divine intervention amid the issues they are embroiled in.

Revilla is one of several lawmakers facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman. The Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed it has strong evidence that Revilla and his other co-respondents funneled their pork barrel towards bogus non-government organizations put up by businesswoman Janet Napoles.

In October, the DOJ proceeded to ask the Department of Foreign Affairs to cancel the passports of the lawmakers.

In her letter to DFA undersecretary for administration Rafael Seguis, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said there was “sufficient basis in fact and law to cancel the passports of the subject persons in the interest of national security.”