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Let out of detention: Is the Sandiganbayan consistent?

How did the Sandiganbayan decide on the various motions for temporary release from detention by detained senators and former president Arroyo?

MANILA, Philippines – Since being detained for plunder cases, senators Ramon Revilla Jr and Jinggoy Estrada, along with former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, have made numerous appeals before the Sandiganbayan for time-out from detention.

The latest of these is the request of Revilla and Estrada to attend the wake of TV host German “Kuya Germs” Moreno. The anti-graft court denied their petitions on Tuesday, January 12.

Previous appeals made by these officials included medical check-ups, holiday breaks, and attendance of important occasions with family and friends.

Some of the requests were granted, particularly those that had to do with health – either the health condition of the detained officials, or that of their relatives. The Sandiganbayan cited “humanitarian reasons” for granting these requests.

Arroyo is luckier, as her appeals for holiday breaks were also granted by the court. At present, 10 out of the 15 sitting Sandiganbayan justices were appointed by Arroyo.

As for Revilla and Estrada Revilla, the Sandiganbayan divisions handling their cases (1st and 5th divisions, respectively) have two Arroyo-appointed members and one Aquino-appointed member each. (READ: The justices behind the pork barrel cases)

Listed below are some of the motions for furlough (or time-out from detention) filed by these officials in the past, as well as the response of the anti-graft court on each request.


Revilla

  • March 2015
    Asked to visit his son, Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla, to visit him at the Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa City after sustaining a gunshot wound on his chest
    Decision: GRANTED

HOSPITAL VISIT. Detained senator Ramon 'Bong' Revilla Jr makes an emotional visit to son Jolo, who is confined at the hospital for a gunshot wound. Photo courtesy of the office of Senator Revilla

  • March 2015
    Asked to attend the graduation of his daughter Ma. Franzel Loudette Bautista at the De La Salle Zobel in Muntinlupa City
    Decision: DENIED
  • July 2015
    Asked to visit his ailing father, former senator Ramon Revilla Sr, at the St Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City
    Decision: GRANTED

AILING FATHER. Detained Senator Bong Revilla is allowed by the Sandiganbayan to visit his ailing father at a Taguig City hospital. Photo from the staff of Senator Revilla

  • August 2015
    Asked to drop by his dentist’s clinic – Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center – in Makati City to undergo dental crowning procedure
    Decision: GRANTED
  • October 2015
    Asked to return to his dentist for a post-dental check-up and procedures
    Decision: GRANTED
  • October 2015
    Asked to attend the debut party of his daughter, Ma. Frazbelle Loudette Bautista
    Decision: DENIED

Estrada

  • October 2014
    Asked to visit the graves of his relatives and a dear friend on All Saints’ Day
    Decision: DENIED
  • November 2014
    Asked to undergo therapy sessions at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City
    Decision: GRANTED

FURLOUGH. Detained Senator Jinggoy Estrada goes for a medical check-up at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Center. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

  • December 2014
    Asked to spend Christmas and New Year with his family in San Juan City
    Decision: DENIED
  • February 2015
    Asked to attend mass with his family at Pinaglabanan Church in San Juan City on his birthday (February 17)
    Decision: DENIED
  • March 2015
    Asked to attend the graduation of his son Julian Emilio Estrada from highschool at the OB Montessori
    Decision: GRANTED

GRADUATION. Estrada poses with wife Precy and son Julian who graduated from high school. Photo from Estrada's Facebook page

  • May 2015
    Asked to attend his mother Loi Estrada’s 80th birthday celebration
    Decision: DENIED
  • July 2015
    Asked to visit his mother-in-law Estelita Vitug at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City
    Decision: GRANTED

HOSPITAL VISIT. Estrada accompanies his wife Precy to visit her mother at St. Luke’s Hospital. Photo from Estrada's Twitter page

  • August 2015
    Asked to undergo medical examinations at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan
    Decision: GRANTED

Arroyo

  • March 2014
    Asked to celebrate her birthday in her hometown Pampanga
    Decision: DENIED
  • November 2014
    Asked to attend the wake of her grandchild from her daughter Luli Arroyo
    Decision: GRANTED
  • December 2014
    Asked to celebrate Christmas with her family in their residence in La Vista, Quezon City
    Decision: GRANTED

GOOD FOR HEALTH. Allowing her family to see her will improve former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's condition, her doctors say. Rappler file photo

  • August 2015
    Asked to attend the wake of her older brother Arturo Macapagal at the Heritage Park in Taguig City
    Decision: GRANTED
  • September 2015
    Asked to attend the commemoration of the 40th day of the death of her brother
    Decision: DENIED
  • October 2015
    Asked to go on a medical check-up at St Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City
    Decision: GRANTED
  • December 2015
    Asked to celebrate Christmas and New Year with her family in their residence in La Vista, Quezon City
    Decision: GRANTED

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.

Meanwhile, Arroyo has been detained over a plunder case in relation to the alleged misuse of P366 million ($8.28 million) in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds during her term. – Rappler.com