Palace shrugs off Revilla’s claim
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Thursday dismissed the allegation of Sen. Bong Revilla that it was treating him as its “trophy,” presumably as a prize catch in President Benigno Aquino III’s anticorruption campaign, after the Sandiganbayan denied his bail petition.
“We respect the integrity of the judiciary as a separate and co-equal branch and the accusation has no basis. We have not, at any time, interfered in the processes of justice,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
Neither was government getting personal with Revilla, as the senator appeared to insinuate in a press statement he made after his bail petition was denied, which would have allowed him to spend the Christmas holidays with his family, Coloma said.
“Ever since, there was nothing personal with what government has been doing,” Coloma said.
Revilla, who is being detained at the Camp Crame Custodial Center, is undergoing trial on plunder charges stemming from the P10-billion pork barrel scam. His co-accused include fellow senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, and the alleged scam mastermind, businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
Coloma stressed that government has always respected the judiciary as a separate and co-equal branch of government.
“We are just following the law, from the implementation of the law, (to) respect for the processes of the law, including the process of the Office of the Ombudsman that reached the filing of (cases) in the Sandiganbayan for the trial of the cases filed against them,” he told a press briefing on Thursday.
Coloma said the bail hearing was only “the first phase of obtaining justice for the misuse of public funds”.
“So our position is we would like to see the full fruition of this process, which will have subsequent phases for this eventuality to arise,” he said. Nikko Dizon
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