Revilla seen partying with Enrile in photos released by prosecutors
MANILA, Philippines–Pork barrel scam suspect Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. was seen partying with fellow accused, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile during the latter’s 91st birthday on Feb. 14, alarming the prosecution that the detained lawmaker was being given special treatment even while in detention.
In an opposition to Revilla’s motion for a hospital check-up, the prosecution said this is a clear violation of the court’s ruling to secure Revilla to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center where he is detained for plunder.
“The Court in its order… directed the PNP to ‘keep the accused in the custody of the said barracks and not allow the accused to be moved, removed or relocated until further orders from the court,'” the panel said.
“The prosecution, however, has received reports that Revilla was allowed to leave his detention cell without authority from this Court, on Feb. 14, 2015, to celebrate the birthday of another detention prisoner, Senator Enrile, at the PNP General Hospital, which is approximately 200 meters away from PNP Custodial Barracks,” it added.
Enrile is under hospital detention for plunder.
“Nagtataka kami bakit mayroong mga pictures na nareceive namin na nandun siya nu’ng Feb. 14 sa kwarto ni Senator Enrile kasama pa niya anak niya… Before, we were already receiving unverified reports that he has been accorded special privileges. Ngayon mayroon na kaming pictures (to prove it),” Toribio told reporters on Monday.
(We were wondering before why we would receive pictures that he was in Senator Enrile’s room on Feb. 14 with his son…Before, we were already receiving unverified reports that he has been accorded special privileges. Now, we have pictures (to prove it).)
Besides the two photos, the government lawyers also cited a newspaper column by former finance undersecretary Milwida Guevara where she said she personally saw Revilla as one of the well-wishers in Enrile’s 91st birthday party in the hospital.
“We had a bit of a commotion when (S)enator Revilla entered the room. Previously, the three senators were not allowed to see each other at the PNP hospital. A temporary reprieve must have been granted to enable senator Revilla to wish ‘Manong’ many happy returns… Senator Revilla was only allowed to stay for a few minutes,” according to her column titled “Valentine’s Day with JPE” published in the Manila Bulletin on Feb. 17.
The prosecution then urged the court to transfer Revilla to the congested Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility, which the team said is the proper detention facility for those awaiting trial.
“If this information recently received by the prosecution is accurate, it confirms and validates prior reports that Revilla is being accorded special privileges while in detention at the PNP Custodial Barracks,” the motion read.
The prosecution also urged the court to deny Revilla’s motion for medical treatment for his pain on his neck and spine, saying the supposed diagnosis made by Revilla’s personal doctor is unsupported by evidence.
In a statement, Revilla denied the allegations he partied with Enrile as “false” and “malicious.”
“On February 14, at about 4:25 in the afternoon,I was rushed to the PNP General Hospital after experiencing cold sweats, stiffness and pain on the back my head and neck, and a debilitating migraine attack. It appeared that I had a spike in my blood pressure,” Revilla said.
“It is not true that I was at the hospital to visit Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. I did not go to his room as I did not even know where that was. The Special Prosecutors have again gone lengths to propagate lies and put me in a bad light,” he added.
Revilla lamented the prosecution’s move to prevent him from getting hospital treatment.
“Kung hindi kaya natugunan ang pagtaas ng presyon ko noon, at tuluyan akong inatake, ano naman kaya ang sasabihin at gagawin ng prosekusyon?” he asked.
(If my high blood pressure was not addressed then and if I suffered an attack, what would the the prosecution say and do?)
The lawmakers are facing trial for their alleged involvement in the scam of pillaging their Priority Development Assistance Funds to ghost projects for kickbacks under the scheme of accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
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