PNP passes Jolo Revilla probe to DOJ
MANILA, Philippines – Security guards of a hospital and private subdivision, along with medical personnel, face criminal and administrative charges for allegedly getting in the way of an investigation into a self-shooting incident involving Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla.
Speaking to media on Tuesday, May 12, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias said obstruction of justice raps have been filed against security guards from the Asian Medical Center where Revilla was hospitalized, and the Ayala Alabang Village, where the shooting incident took place.
Administrative cases, meanwhile, will be filed against medical personnel from the Asian Medical Center, for allegedly failing to report the gun shooting incident to police right away.
Hospitals are required to report to police any admissions caused by shootings. In Revilla’s case, police were not informed of the incident until after it was reported by media.
The administative charges will be filed before the Professional Regulation Commission, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Director Carmelo Valmoria told Rappler in a phone interview on Tuesday.
"A Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by NCRPO filed separate complaints against certain individuals for alleged obstruction of justice, violation of the Private Security Agency Law, disobedience upon a person in authority and violation of Executive Order," the PNP said in its Tuesday statement.
The report, however, or at least part of the report made public on Tuesday, does not detail the possible culpability of other individuals involved in the case, including Vice Governor Revilla, Cavite Provincial Administrator Renato Abutan, and Cavite Provincial General Services Officer Engineer Leopoldo Talatala.
The case will instead be turned over to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to "determine whether or not there has been a violation of criminal and administrative laws and regulations as a result of the incident; and further determine who are culpable for such violation," the PNP said in a statement.
The recommendations for obstruction of justice and administative cases stemmed from an NCRPO report on the shooting incident, a copy of which was submitted to PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina late April.
The full report was not made public, however, since it is currently with the Justice Department for further investigation and action, Valmoria said. At least 19 pieces of documentary evidence was passed on to the Justice Department by the NCRPO.
A hole in the investigation was the Revilla family's refusal to grant interviews in the course of the investigation.
Valmoria explained the case was being passed on to the Justice Department because it covers several jurisdictions – the National Capital Region and Cavite province. The Vice Governor shot himself while inside his mother's home in Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City.
It also involves Abutan and Talatala since the firearm used is registered with the Cavite provincial government.
"Prudence dictates that further evaluation of evidence and facts from your office is necessary for the determination of violation of law committed by [Vice Govenor Revilla], Abutan, and Talatala concerning the transfer and possession of the firearm involved in the incident," Valmoria told Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in an April 28 letter.
He added, "In addition, the undersigned deemed it proper to forward the matter to your office since it potentially involves prosecution of cases in different jurisdictions."
On February 28, the vice governor, son of detained Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr, “accidentally” shot himself on his right chest while cleaning a .40 Glock handgun.
His camp insists it was an accident but in an interview, Senator Revilla’s talent manager Lolit Solis said the younger Revilla was "really going through something” the weekend before he shot himself.
The Vice Governor’s case grabbed headlines, particularly when his father, who is detained at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame for charges related to the so-called pork barrel scam, was allowed to visit his son.
Prior to the shooting incident, Senator Revilla was found to have paid an unauthorized visit to his co-accused in the pork barrel scam, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who is detained at the Camp Crame General Hospital.
Police denied any political pressure in the investigation, despite the long gap between the submission of the report and Tobias’ briefing on Tuesday.
At least 3 members of the powerful Revilla clan hold elective positions in government – Senator Ramon Revilla Jr, his wife Cavite Representative Lani Mercado, and their son, Jolo.
The Revillas are affiliated with the political opposition.
Vice Governor Revilla has since made a full recovery. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com