MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has denied the request of detained Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr and Jinggoy Estrada to attend the wake of TV host German “Kuya Germs” Moreno on Tuesday, January 12.
In separate resolutions, the Sandiganbayan’s First and Fifth Divisions, which are handling the cases of Revilla and Estrada, respectively, thumbed down the senators’ request for hours-long furloughs.
In a two-page resolution, the Sandiganbayan’s First Division said there was no “special circumstance” to warrant the request of Revilla.
“After weighing the arguments of the parties, the Court is of the view that the situation presented by the accused could not be considered a special circumstance that deserves exception to the general restrictions on a detention prisoner’s rights,” it said.
In a motion filed before the Sandiganbayan’s First Division, Revilla requested the court to allow him to visit the wake from 3 pm to 6 pm. He said he considered Moreno as a “close friend and second father.”
Later, the Sandiganbayan’s 5th Division denied Estrada’s request to be allowed to attend the wake from 7 pm to 10 pm. In his motion before the court, Estrada said attending a wake is part of his obligations as a Catholic.
“Accused-movant, being a detention prisoner, cannot be accorded the full enjoyment of his civil or political rights as a necessary consequence of his detention. Incarceration, by its nature, changes an individual’s status in society,” the Sandiganbayan’s 5th Division said.
The court noted it had already denied Estrada’s petition for bail last week.
“Suffice it to state that to allow the accused-movant to leave his detention cell, especially at this time when the Court already denied his petition for bail, will not only set a bad precedent but will likewise to regarded as a mockery of the administration of justice,” the court said.
In March last year, Revilla got court permission to visit his son, Vice Governor Jolo Revilla at the hospital. He was also allowed to visit his ailing father, former senator Ramon Revilla Sr, at the hospital in July 2015.
The Sandiganbayan’s 5th Division allowed Estrada to attend the high school graduation of his son in March 2015.
Revilla and Estrada are detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame over plunder and graft charges in connection with the pork barrel scam. – Rappler.com