Press Release
July 1, 2020

Senate holds necrological service for Revilla Sr.

A necrological service was held at the Senate for former Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr. Wednesday, July 1, 2020, with former and incumbent senators delivering their eulogies at the Senate plenary hall while others, through videoconference. Revilla succumbed to heart failure last June 26 at the age of 93.

The former senator was accorded arrival honors led by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III, some incumbent senators and Senate officials.

Sotto presented to the Revilla family Senate Resolution 459, expressing the upper chamber's profound sympathy on the passing of his father, who served two-terms at the Senate from 1992 to 2004. The resolution was handed to Sen. Bong Revilla Jr.

While Revilla Sr. made his name synonymous to the characters he portrayed in his films, Sotto said his multifaceted personality showed that he also excelled in the field of legislation.

"All his life, he had been in the service of his countrymen, whether he was in the government or in his career in the entertainment industry. He unselfishly shared his life to uplift the lives of his countrymen both by authoring worthwhile legislation and producing films that transcend generations and contributed to the rich culture of Philippine entertainment," Sotto said.

"The pieces of legislation that Revilla Sr. authored, sponsored and supported in the Senate live up to his creed that 'it is not enough that the Filipino people are served, but they must be served well'," he added.

The "Father of the Public Works Act," Sotto said Revilla Sr. was instrumental in the lowering of penalties for illegal possession of firearms under Republic Act 8294 or the "Revilla Law," RA 9255 which allows illegitimate children to carry the surname of their father, imposition of life imprisonment for drug traffickers, the "Children's Media Act" which sets the standards in the production and broadcasting of age-appropriate and value-laden educational shows in local television, and the law that grants cash and other non-monetary benefits to national athletes, coaches and trainers who won in international competitions, among many others.

During his stint as a senator, Sotto said Revilla Sr. introduced measures seeking to upgrade the benefits of retiring public school teachers, impose additional penalties on those who willingly curtail or stifle press freedom, punish deliberate abortion and grant tax rebates to movie producers for coming up with quality films.

"The demise of a devoted and hardworking senator, a multi-awarded movie icon and a public servant is a great loss not only to his family but to the nation as well," Sotto said.

On a personal note, Sotto said he had met and worked with the former senator long before they became colleagues in the Senate.

"My better half, Helen, was his leading lady in the movies Kapitan Kulas in 1975 and Lagablab ng Concepcion in 1977. It was in the latter movie that we first met. My eldest daughter, who is currently my Chief-of-Staff here in the Senate, even played a role as their daughter. Our relationship goes deeper than that. He hired me as his musical director for a number of his big hit movies. He would spend hours with me while I worked on the music tracks for his movies. Those were the days that we will continue to remember him by, and that we are glad to have known him up close and personal. It was a great honor and privilege," Sotto said in his eulogy.

Former Sen. Robert S. Jaworski who is Revilla Sr.'s son-in-law and widely regarded as a legend in Philippine basketball's history, considered it a great honor to be part of the family and for working alongside the latter as a senator from 1998 to 2004.

Jaworski, in his pre-recorded eulogy, described his father-in-law as someone who absolutely loved life and a man with a multitude of wisdom, which he willingly shared with the people around him, especially with all his children whom he loved so dearly.

"If there's something that I've learned from him through the years, it was that we should never take life for granted. That we should seize the opportunities presented to us and take control of our destiny," Jaworski said

Revilla Sr., according to former Laguna governor and Sen. Joey Lina Jr. who physically attended the necrological service, clearly saw the vital role of the youth in nation-building, sports development and the influence of broadcast media, especially television, in the moulding of a child's intellectual, emotional and social well being through the enactment of RA 8370 and RA 9064.

House Deputy Speaker and Antique lone district Rep. Loren Legarda said Revilla Sr. was not just a colleague but also a dear friend during the 11th and 12th Congresses.

"He was one of the first to warmly welcome me into the Senate when I first was elected in 1998. He was always friendly and always greeted me.

''He looked serious, quiet, pensive and was always quick to give complements and advise especially to women colleagues," Legarda recalled in her pre-recorded eulogy.

Former Presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Joseph Estrada as well as Sen. Richard Gordon likewise honored Revilla Sr.

The youngest in the brood of 10 children of businessman Ildefonso Bautista and Andrea Acuna, Revilla was a Far Eastern University (FEU) commerce graduate and former senior intelligence officer at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) before he became a popular movie actor, film producer and later in his career, a lawmaker.

Three years following his election as a senator, Revilla managed to steer the passage of RA 8150, the law that provided for a four-year public works and highways infrastructure program.

"He has since been known as the Father of the Public Works Act, a result of his being designated chair of the Senate Public Works Committee," Sotto said, adding that Revilla oversaw deliberations on RA 8150 even after its passage in September 1995.

Sen. Bong, in his response to the eulogies for his father, said friends and former colleagues proved that there's more to know about Revilla Sr. even if his life was an open book.

"As his children, we are all proud of the legacy he leaves behind - in the arts, in public service, but the greatest of all, in each of us," he said.

Sen. Bong was in tears when he recalled the last time his father paid him a visit at the Senate, as he was then going through tough times.

"Daddy as I told you, babangon, lilinisin ko ang aking pangalan ( I will rise again and clear my name). I will prove to them na mali sila (I will prove them wrong)," he said.

The younger Revilla attributed to his father, whom he and his siblings looked up to, what he has achieved so far.

"You are our hero. You're my hero daddy, we love you," he said.

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