Revilla hits Manzano over OMB raid tussle

Continuing a long-standing feud, Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr on Wednesday took a swing at Optical Media Board (OMB) chairman Edu Manzano over last Tuesday’s anti-piracy raid at a Makati mall.

Revilla said Manzano should explain why he backed out of the raid at the last minute. Also, Revilla said Manzano should know better than to question the senator’s presence during the raid.

“Chairman Manzano has lot of explaining to do and it should start from his last minute backing out from appearing in the raid. He said he was sick. It’s absurd that he had a quick recovery,” said Revilla, disgusted over Manzano’s assertion that his participation in the raid was not properly coordinated.

According to the senator, Manzano should bear in mind that he is the chairman of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Optical Media Board so he has the duty and responsibility to oversee the proper implementation of the Republic Act 9239 or the Optical Media Act of 2003.

Revilla cited the study released this year by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), an international association representing the commercial software industry, revealing that losses in piracy went up to US$119 million last year from US$76 million in 2005.

“As I said before, I joined the raid because as chairman of the joint congressional oversight committee, we want to know how the law is being enforced. There are the questions that need to be answered when we review the law. For instance, is the law enough to cope up with the development of technology?” Revilla said.

Revilla stressed that his participation was properly coordinated a week earlier and he even talked to Manzano a day before the operation.

“Chairman Manzano even assured me that he will be there in the raid. He may be preempting an inquiry that is why he said there were mistakes on our part. Apparently there is someone caught with his hand in the cookie jar,” he clarified.

The lawmaker also expressed doubts over the changes of raid location, which the OMB said was made after they got information that the initial targets got tipped of the raid and had already packed up.

Revilla said when he asked his men to check out the original target, they found out that they were business as usual.

“The OMB said vendors in the area next to be raided had already packed their items. But I directed some of our personnel to verify the information. They went to the area and it was business as usual.” he added.


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