Bong Revilla walks free after plunder acquittal

Former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. waves to his supporters after he was acquitted by the Sandiganbayan on charges of plunder in connection with the pork barrel scam case on December 7, 2018. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- After four years in detention, Senator Bong Revilla was released on Friday afternoon after he was cleared of plunder in his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam case. 

Revilla was officially released past 6 pm. He was reunited with his wife Lani Mercado and their children.

Earlier in the day, Mercado said her husband’s acquittal is the “best Christmas ever” for their family.

“God is really, really good. Best Christmas ever sa aming pamilya,” she said.

“Masaya po ang aming Pasko kasi makakasama na namin siya,” Revilla’s son, Jolo added.

(Thank you for your love. We really felt it. We’re very happy because we can be with him this Christmas.)

Revilla surrendered to authorities on June 20, 2014 after the anti-graft court issued an arrest warrant against him and has since been detained at the Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

The actor-turned-politician was accused of pocketing P224 million in kickbacks from fake projects with the help of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, who was convicted of plunder during a promulgation of their case on Friday.

Aside from Revilla, former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada were also charged with plunder and graft. Both Enrile and Estrada are out on bail.

While he has already been cleared of plunder, Revilla is still facing graft charges over the PDAF scam.