Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr‘s involvement in the controversial pork barrel scam reemerged anew after he announced that he will be giving away tablets to students for distance learning.
The lawmaker in a Facebook video uploaded Tuesday said that he will hand out 10-inch tablets to students as part of his educational program Karunungan Ating Palaguin (KAP) in celebration of his upcoming 54th birthday on September 25.
Revilla said that he will begin the initiative on September 20 which will be launched via KAP’s Family Game Show.
“Ito po ‘yung programa natin para makatulong tayo sa mga kabataan, mamimigay po tayo ng tablet at kung sino ‘yung mga first 1,000 na kabataan na matutulungan natin. Tapos may mga regalo pa tayo sa mga sponsors, mga kaibigan natin,” he said.
“Maging isa sa daan-daang mabibiyayaan ng 10-inch tablet para sa pag-aaral,” part of one of his Facebook posts reads.
The senator also revealed that proceeds from his social media pages and YouTube accounts, which he said have been earning due to its monetization, would be used for the planned raffle in his giveaway.
“Simula po nung nagkaroon ako ng Facebook page, in fact, na-monetize na po ‘to, malaki-laki na rin ‘yung kinikita natin. At ‘yun po ay idadagdag din natin sa mga ipapa-raffle natin. Malaki na rin ‘yun, I think more than 10,000 dollars,” Revilla said.
He urged the public to follow his accounts for updates on the initiative aimed to help students with distance learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.
𝗛𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮 𝗻𝗮 𝗯𝗮 𝗸𝗮𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗼?Bilang pagdiriwang sa aking kaarawan, mamamahagi tayo ng 10-inch tablets para sa blended…
Revilla’s tablet donation initiative was well-received by Filipinos but some of them perceived it to be insufficient, given his involvement in the pork barrel scam where he plundered millions of pesos under alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Napoles‘ scheme.
“Kulang po ‘yan senator. 20,000+ tablets dapat ang bigay niyo. Para maibalik niyo ‘yung pera ng mga tao,” a Facebook user wrote in response to his announcement of giving away tablets for the students.
“1k lang, dapat buong Cavite para mas makinabang maraming kabataan (diyan) sa nasasakupan niya!” wrote another online user in reference to the lawmaker’s home province.
“How about giving back the P124.5 million plundered money instead? Mas madami mabibiling tablets,” said another Filipino with an eyeroll emoji.
“Dapat kada-barangay na lang po bigyan,” a Facebook user commented.
“Make it 5k, sisiw lang po ‘yan sa ninakaw niyo po,” wrote another online user.
Actress Bela Padilla previously reminded the lawmaker that his plundered money “can buy 1,245,000 face masks” after the latter urged the government to give away free face masks and face shields before.
Revilla last month urged the health department and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to distribute the protective gear for the coronavirus disease without charge but it was criticized instead.
“124.5M can buy 1,245,000 face masks. #justsaying,” Padilla tweeted then.
Revilla’s plunder case
Revilla was accused of misusing P517 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund and funneling it to bogus non-government organizations in the 2010s, along with former senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada.
He was detained for four years and was able to walk free in December 2018.
Revilla returned to the Senate a year after, which he partly attributed to the virality of his campaign video that showed him doing the “budots” dance routine.
His plunder case might have been dismissed but the Ombudsman prosecutors urged the anti-graft court to issue a writ of execution that would compel him to pay P124.5 million in civil liability.
Revilla’s camp, however, asserted that he was not criminally liable and should not be sought to pay the amount.