Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla assured Optical Media Board (OMB) chairman Edu Manzano that his criticism against the agency is strictly constructive and not intended as personal vendetta.
Both Bong and Edu are currently engaged in a verbal war after the former conducted a raid at the Makati Cinema Square last Tuesday, December 4, and confiscated a number of pirated videos openly peddled to the public. Bong then made a disparaging statement to the media questioning the efficiency of the Manzano-led OMB in carrying out its duty to arrest and prosecute video and audio pirates.
Hurt by the comments, Edu took a slant against Bong by saying that his curt remarks also bruised his family's reputation.
"At this point in time, not only have you me, you hurt my family. How can I forgive you?" Edu said in rejecting Bong's apology. "I have children and they have classmates. Hindi porke't sorry, e, okay na."
NOTHING PERSONAL. In an interview with Showbiz Central yesterday, December 9, Bong defended himself, "Well, unang-una, wala akong nakikitang bagay para masaktan ko ang pamilya niya. 'Yong sa atin e, parte lang ng trabaho."
The lawmaker chided Edu for allegedly reading too much between the lines: "Walang personalan doon. Sa tingin ko, siya 'yong nagbibigay ng meaning at nagpapabigat sa problema, e."
Bong reasoned out that his statements were not designed to discredit the OMB as an organization or the integrity and competence of its officers.
"Advise lang yon, e," argued Bong. "Kumbaga, hindi ko sinisiraan. Paano magiging successful ang operation kung merong anay sa loob? Kung minamasama nila ‘yon, wala tayong magagawa."
Given his power and authority as a senator, Bong stressed that he's only thinking of the welfare of the entertainment industry above all else.
"Malinis ang konsensiya ko," Bong asserted. "Wala akong personal na galit sa kanya [Edu]. Ang gusto ko lang makatulong sa industriyang ito. Mahal ko ang industriyang kinalalagyan natin ngayon. Industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino kung saan ako nanggaling, kung saan nanggaling ang ama ko. Wala ako kung hindi dahil sa industriyang na ‘to. Kahit buhay ko ibibigay ko dito, e... Nandito na ko sa posisyong na ‘to, kung hindi pa namin pagtutulungan, paano pa mangyayari sa industriya na ito?"
NECESSSARY SECURITY. As for the bodyguards issue raised by Edu against Bong, the senator explained the need for him to be accompanied by armed men in his various sorties.
"I have bodyguards," admitted Bong candidly. It goes with the territory, he said. "I've been receiving so many death threats. Marami na akong namatay [sic] na tao ng dahil sa pakikipaglaban ng mga ‘yan. Marami rin akong kalaban sa pulitika. E, kung siya hindi siya nagbaba-bodyguard, kasi siguro wala siyang kalaban."
At first, Bong said he did not mind Edu addressing him simply as "Mr. Revilla" instead of acknowledging his position as senator.
"Well, it's okay with me, medyo..." But obviously he was not pleased with the OMB chief's seeming disrespect.
After a pause, Bong continued, "Okay lang 'yon. Hindi natin maiaalis sa kanya ‘yon na hindi niya ako galangin. Karapatan niya ‘yon na hindi niya ako galangin. But ako, nirirespeto ko pa din siya."