Bong Revilla supports death penalty for plunderers despite corruption accusations against him

Photo: ABS-CBN News.
Photo: ABS-CBN News.

Yes to capital punishment for corrupt officials.

That was former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.’s answer today when asked by reporters at a press conference whether he was in favor of punishing convicted plunderers with the death penalty.

Ironically, Revilla said this despite still facing 16 counts of graft himself.

He was in fact, just acquitted by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan of plunder in December in connection with his alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), a decision that was widely criticized by the public.

Revilla, who’s running for senator in this year’s elections, has repeatedly said he was innocent of corruption and refused to return the millions that he allegedly stole from the government.

Other than corrupt officials, he believed that other people deserve the death penalty, too. Throwing shade at those who had tried to prosecute him, he told reporters: “False accusers should also be punished with the death sentence. Because it’s wrong when you’re accusing something false.”

He then complained that he was behind bars for several years because of these so-called false accusers, who allegedly ruined the lives of his family.

Revilla appeared serious when he said that corrupt officials deserve to die. He added: “Those who plunder, those who steal from the country, they should be given the death sentence just so that they will stop.”

Wow, intense.

He’s not the only senatorial candidate who said such a thing. Just last night, Senator JV Ejercito, who’s running for re-election, said in the ABS-CBN debate show Harapan 2019 (Face-to-Face) that corrupt officials should be given the capital punishment.

This elicited a lot of amusement from netizens because Ejercito’s father, former President Joseph Estrada, was convicted of plunder in 2007 and was only pardoned by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. His half-brother former senator Jinggoy Estrada, who’s also running for the Senate, was their father’s co-accused but was acquitted.

Even Ejercito himself was accused of corruption years ago. In 2016 and 2017, the Sandiganbayan acquitted him for two graft cases stemming from his alleged misuse of San Juan’s funds when he was still the city mayor.

His half-brother Jinggoy meanwhile is currently facing a fresh plunder charge for allegedly misusing his PDAF but is out on bail. Ironically, CNN Philippines reported last month that Jinggoy also said he wanted the death penalty for plunderers.

Both Jinggoy and Revilla are controversial figures, with many questioning why they were still allowed to run in this year’s elections.

Just yesterday, Revilla became the butt of netizens’ jokes when The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that an unidentified person threw a plastic water bottle at him (but barely missed) when he appeared at the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City. Revilla showed up with other candidates despite organizers’ rule that campaigning was prohibited during the annual festival.

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