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After two years, former senator Ramon Revilla Sr. broke his silence Tuesday about the alleged involvement of his children Ramon Joseph "RJ" Bautista and Ramona Bautista in the 2011 murder of their brother, actor-model Ramgen Revilla, insisting they had nothing to do with his death.
In a statement broadcast on GMA News TV's Balitanghali, the elder Revilla said he was disappointed the court did not grant RJ's petition for bail because his son was innocent.
"Para akong nabagsakan ng mundo ng (sic) malaman ko na ang aking anak na si Ramon Joseph ay hindi nabigyan ng piyansa ng hukuman... Ako po ay naniniwalang hindi magagawa ng anak ko ang ganiyang bagay na karumaldumal. Ang mga anak ko ay lumaki sa salita ng Panginoon. Isa siyang mabuting anak," he said.
RJ and Ramona have been implicated in the Oct. 28, 2011 killing of his older brother Ramgen and the frustrated murder of Ramgen's girlfriend Janelle Manahan inside the family's house in Parañaque City. The two are among the seven children of Ramon Revilla Sr. with Genelyn Magsaysay.
RJ is currently in prison while Ramona has fled to Turkey. The former has pleaded not guilty to the charges lodged against him.
In his statement released on RJ's birthday, The former senator also appealed to the public to help his family pray for justice for Ramgen, Ramona and RJ.
Atty. Jose Caringal, the Revilla family's lawyer, said Revilla Sr.'s statement is his way of showing his support to his embattled children now that he is able to communicate.
The elder Revilla has been in frail health in recent years.
"Sabi niya (Revilla Sr.), dalawang taon nang nagdurusa 'yung anak ko diyan (kulungan). Dati may sakit ako kaya 'di ako makapagbigay ng statement. Ang sabi niya, 'Now that I can communicate, I want them to know the feeling na 'yung mismong father niya (RJ) knows him to be innocent,'" he said.
Caringal said Revilla Sr.'s poor health prevented him from writing his own statement. The former senator, however, put his thumbark on the typewritten statement prepared by the lawyer to certify that the words were his own.
Magsaysay, who has previously decried Revilla Sr.'s supposed lack of support for RJ since he was implicated in Ramgen's murder, said her son was happy that his father is finally taking the cudgels for him.
"Kahit nakakulong siya (RJ), masaya siya kasi naipakita sa kanya ng kanyang tatay na mahal siya nito," she said.
Magsaysay said that although she has not seen Ramona after she fled to Turkey in November 2011, she considers it "a blessing in disguise" that she was able to leave the country before she was arrested by authorities.
Ramona told the police after Ramgen's murder that she was kidnapped by the killers, but retracted her statement over cable news channel ANC that she was not in fact abducted by her brother's assailants. She made the statement before fleeing to Hong Kong on Nov. 4, and purportedly to Turkey to join her husband.
She has since been put on the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) Wanted List.
"Blessing in disguise na nasa Turkey si Ramona kasi kung hindi siya nakapag-asawa doon, maaaring nandito siya at maaaring 'yung nangyari kay Joseph (RJ) ay mangyari rin sa kanya," she said.
Magsaysay said she last spoke to Ramona in 2012.
The Parañaque City Regional Trial Court has allowed RJ to temporarily leave prison for six hours on October 28 to visit Ramgen's burial site in Cavite to remember his second death anniversary. —Xianne Arcangel/KG, GMA News