By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. assured on Friday that he will prioritize his work as a lawmaker over acting.
Revilla issued the statement to quell rumors of his return to television months after he was elected in the Upper Chamber.
He said he knows his priorities and that he “will always put my commitment to the Filipino people first.”
“I am first and foremost a legislator. I know my mandate,” he stressed.
Revilla said records would show that he has fulfilled his job as a senator during his previous terms, claiming that he had filed more than 600 bills and resolutions, 223 of which were passed into laws.
“And the almost six months of my work in Senate now will speak for itself,” Revilla said.
Revilla currently chairs the Senate Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation. He recently sponsored the plenary approval the Senate bill that seeks to increase the teaching supplies allowance given to public school teachers.
Aside from the civil service panel, the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media was also given to him.
“I also actively participate in committee hearings and in plenary sessions. In fact, I am co-author of the two bills that recently passed third reading in the Senate — [the] Postponement of Barangay [and] SK elections and National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, Survivor, [and their] Families,” he added.
Revilla, however, did not confirm nor deny his reported television comeback in a primetime series and a still-untitled, drama-fantasy children’s program on GMA-7.
Instead, he said no law is prohibiting him to return to acting.
“Wala pong batas na nagbabawal sa pag-aartista. Ito ay isang marangal na trabaho na bumuhay at bumubuhay sa pamilya ko (There is no law prohibiting an elected official from acting. Acting is a decent job that sustained and is still sustaining my family),” he said.
He also brushed aside criticisms against his supposed return to acting over his previous plunder case.
“Haters are going to hate, and bashers are going to bash. The truth is out there and it is their choice to side with lies and falsehood. Sino ang may problema (Who has a problem)? Not me,” he said.
Revilla, in 2014, was accused of pocketing P224.5 million of his priority development assistance fund (PDAF), or “pork barrel” by allocating it to fake non-government organizations (NGOs) owned by Janet Lim Napoles.
While he was a senator, Revilla hosted a weekend television show that aired until he was detained in the PNP Custodial Center in Quezon City due to the pork barrel controversy.
Last December, he was acquitted of plunder charges by the Sandiganbayan and later decided to run for senator in the May 13, 2019 elections.