Gov’t lawyers tell Sandigan: Revilla should be in regular jail like Napoles, Gigi Reyes
MANILA, Philippines—State prosecutors appealed to the Sandiganbayan to reverse its decision allowing Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to remain in the police custodial center instead of a regular jail, citing the “successful” incarceration of two other high-profile detainees in the pork barrel scam, including alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
In their consolidated reply to the comment opposition of Revilla and his co-accused aide Richard Cambe, the prosecutors said the accused could not pose as high-risk detainees who should not be detained in a regular jail because Napoles and another supposed high-risk prisoner Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes are detained in one.
Revilla had cited the lack of manpower and capability of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-administered jails to secure him as he faces trial for plunder over the pork barrel scam.
The senator had cited the testimony of Sr. Supt. Romeo Vio in the plunder case of his colleague and co-accused Senator Jinggoy Estrada.
Vio had said that the BJMP jail in Camp Bagong Diwa is congested and lacks the capability and equipment to secure high-profile detainees.
“As to the lack of sufficient manpower, armaments and vehicles… to secure… the accused, it must be noted… that the BJMP has been successfully securing and guarding Napoles and Reyes, both high-profile detainees, for quite some time now with no untoward incident happening against them,” the motion read.
“In view of what has been discussed, we again ask the question: [Are] accused Revilla and Cambe differently situated than accused Napoles and Reyes? It is our submission that they are not. Thus, they should be treated equally and be detained at the same BJMP facility,” the motion added.
The prosecutors also maintained that the law, or Republic Act 6975 or the “Department of Interior and Local Government Act,” is clear that those facing trial should be detained in a BJMP-administered facility.
“To rule otherwise would create a double standard in the application of our laws which is inimical to the orderly administration of justice and to public interest,” the motion read.
Revilla, Cambe, and Estrada are detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center as they face trial for plunder over the pork barrel scam.
Meanwhile, Napoles and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s resigned chief-of-staff, Reyes, are detained in the female ward of Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig. The 90-year-old Enrile, also accused of plunder, is under hospital arrest.
Due to the BJMP’s lack of manpower and as well the high-risk nature of the detainees, the court had allowed Revilla, Cambe and Estrada to remain in the custodial center while they await trial.
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