Sen. Bong Revilla: I did not steal

A day after President Aquino delivered his first ever primetime speech on current national issues, Senator Bong Revilla's camp struck back with their own statements.

Aquino blasted his critics in the speech, saying that it was ironic that they were slamming him for defending the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and tagging it as the "President's Pork" when they were the ones who were embroiled in the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.

Though the President didn't name names, many people assumed that he was referring to Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Bong Revilla. The three senators are facing plunder charges due to their alleged dealings with businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, who has been described as the "mastermind" who funneled pork funds to ghost NGOs

One of the most memorable passages in Aquino's speech is this: "Baka po may nakakalimot sa atin: Pagnanakaw ang tunay na ugat ng isyung ito. Iyan po ang usapang pilit nilang tinatabunan, matapos mabisto ang kanilang kalokohan. Napapailing na nga lang po ako, dahil ang una kong inasahan, papabulaanan nila ang mga akusasyon. Di po ba’t iyan ang natural na tugon ng kahit sinong akusado? Sa hinaba-haba ng mga kontra-paratang na ibinabato sa atin, ni minsan, hindi ko narinig ang katagang at statement na 'Hindi ako nagnakaw.'"

Reacting to the barbs, Sen. Revilla's lawyer Atty. Joel Bodegon said, "Senator Revilla takes exception to the statement of the President that he has not denied involvement in the so-called PDAF scam. Baka kaya siya walang naririnig ay dahil ayaw niyang makinig at hindi siya nakikining. Senator Revilla from the beginning has maintained na hindi siya magnanakaw at wala siyang ninakaw sa pondo ng bayan."

Meanwhile, Palace Communications Group Secretary Sonny Coloma denies assumptions that the President was alluding to anyone in particular in his speech. Aquino had talked about critics who were acting under the orders of an "old politician" who is out to deflect attention from the pork barrel scandal.

READ MORE: "DAP must be seen as economic stimulus"

For more of Top Story, click here.

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