Pagdilao opposes transfer of pork suspects to regular jail
MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker and author of the bill calling for the construction of VIP detention cells for high-profile detainees apparently opposes moves to transfer the pork barrel scam suspects to regular city jails.
ACT-CIS Representative Samuel Pagdilao said Senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile are too controversial detainees to be mixed with hardened criminals in city jails.
He said they should be kept safe so they could live the day to their trial for plunder over the pork barrel scam.
“They must be under certain standards accorded to a human being,” Pagdilao told INQUIRER.net in an interview.
“We have to give them security and protection so they can undergo trial without danger,” he added.
Pagdilao, a former police director and former chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detention Group, said there could be no justice if the lives of the senators or other accused are put to an end due to the hazardous situation in jail.
“Justice can’t be served if something happens to them. [They have to be] alive and well while they’re undergoing trial because that will provide the guilt or non-guilt,” said Pagdilao, one of the authors of House Bill 1360 which seeks the establishment of a high-profile crime detention center under the Bureau of Corrections.
Government prosecutors had asked the Sandiganbayan to allow the transfer of these senators, who are detained over plunder, to regular jails administered by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
The prosecutors said the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center where they are detained is not a detention facility for those facing trial.
They said that the custodial center was originally built as barracks for officials of the PNP Custodial Service Unit.
To date, the anti-graft court had only allowed the transfer of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles to the BJMP female dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa from Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna, where she was detained for a separate serious illegal detention case.
Napoles joined the detention facility of another pork scam accused Atty. Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, the resigned chief of staff of Enrile.
Enrile also surrendered to the police like his colleagues. But due to his frail health, the 90-year-old senator is in the Camp Crame hospital while under police custody. The court has yet to resolve his plea for hospital arrest.
Revilla’s co-accused and legislative aide Richard Cambe is also under police custody in the custodial center.
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