Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada to welcome New Year with kin
MANILA, Philippines–It’s a happy New Year indeed for detained Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Ramon “Bong” Revilla and 70 other detainees of the Philippine National Police Custodial Center as they may spend the first hour of Jan. 1, 2015 with their families.
The PNP has extended until 1 a.m. of January 1 the visiting hours at the PNP Custodial Center where Estrada and Revilla are detained.
Chief Superintedent Wilben Mayor, PNP spokesperson, said the extension does not apply to Revilla and Estrada’s co-accused Senator Juan Ponce Enrile as he is detained at the PNP General Hospital.
From observing the regular four visiting hours of 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, the PNP Headquarters Support Service (HSS) added eight more hours. The New Year’s Eve falls on Wednesday.
Visiting hours on weekends, however, will remain unchanged from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Representing Revilla and his fellow detainees, his staff and co-accused Lawyer Richard Cambe had asked the PNP for extension in a handwritten letter to PNP Custodial Center officer-in-charge Chief Inspector Stephen Daang due to safety reasons.
Among the 70 detainees at the Custodial Center are communist leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, former elections supervisor Lintang Bedol, and Atimonan rubout suspect Superintendent Hansel Marantan.
“We appreciate very much your positive action in giving us more time than the usual visiting hours for Dec. 31, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2015. However, it will be more meaningful and joyous if our immediate family members can just stay up to or after 12 a.m. of January 1, 2015 as that will be safer and convenient for all of us that they will stay inside while people outside are busy lighting their fireworks, firecrackers and even firearms should they leave at around 10 p.m. of December 31, 2015. There will be a lot of smoke and even lack of adequate transportation because of the firecrackers and heavy smoke on the streets,” Cambe wrote.
Daang endorsed Cambe’s request to the HSS head Chief Superintendent Alfredo Supapo citing “humanitarian consideration.”
“In view of the foregoing, the undersigned, on the premise of humanitarian consideration and observance. Of yuletide season, respectfully recommends the approval of the request and extension of the visiting hours until 1 a.m. on January 1, 2015,” Daang said in letter on Monday.
While he seeks the HSS’ approval of the extension, Daang assured that the Custodial Service Unit will ensure the strict implementation of all standard operating procedures and security measures.
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