Revilla files Eddie Garcia bill, proposal to waive bank secrecy for public officials

MANILA, Philippines – In his first 3 weeks back in the Senate, Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr filed 100 bills in the 18th Congress, which included proposed measures that has something to do with his past – his acquittal of plunder and the entertainment industy.

Revilla filed on Thursday, July 18, a still unnumbered bill requiring public officials and employees to "submit written permission or waiver" for the Ombudsman to look into deposits, including investment bonds issued in the Philippines.

He also filed Senate Bill Number 294 or "Eddie Garcia Law," during his second week of office, which proposed requiring occupational safety and health standards for workers and talents in the movie and television industry.

In a statement on Saturday, July 20, his office said that Revilla "maximized" his stint upon being re-elected.

Senators filed their first 10 pet bills from July 1 to 4, according to seniority. The second round of filing for the next 10 bills were done from July 8 to 11.

Revilla filed 45 bills on Monday, July 15, and another 35 bills on Thursday, July 18.

The filing of 100 bills, his office said, is Revilla's "fulfillment of campaign promises."

Revilla filed proposed measures on agriculture, public school teachers, mental health, regulation of motor vehicles, disaster risk reduction, health, labor, and social welfare, among others.

His first bill sought to require an across-the-board P125 daily increase in the salaries of private sector employees.

A number of his bills proposed tax relief from government for certain conditions, increase of wages and benefits for some public and private workers, and incentives to local film workers.

Before his political comeback, Revilla's second term as a senator was cut short in 2014 when the alleged pork barrel scam led the Sandiganbayan issue an arrest warrant against him and other co-accused.

Revilla was accused of pocketing P224.5 million in kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel, through his former staff lawyer Richard Cambe, and nongovernmental organizations ran by alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles. 

He was acquitted in December 2018, but the anti-graft court ordered the return of P124.5 million to the Philippine treasury. (READ: Revilla concealed unexplained wealth, liable for graft – dissenting justice)

Revilla still faces 16 counts of graft pending in court. 

Revilla appeared in several action movies and comedy shows prior to entering politics. –

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.