Sandiganbayan allows Bong Revilla to visit son Jolo
MANILA, Philippines–The Sandiganbayan First Division on Tuesday allowed detained senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son, Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla, who is in the hospital for a gunshot wound on his chest.
The antigraft court allowed Revilla to visit his son from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
“Due to the urgent nature and as acknowledged by the prosecution, it’s an unusual, emergency and extraordinary situation, the court will authorize Senator Revilla to visit his son, with all the usual conditions, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” Division chair Associate Justice Efren Dela Cruz declared in court.
The court effectively allowed Revilla a five-hour leave, a better bargain from his motion for a three-hour furlough to visit Jolo who is under intensive care at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center.
In its resolution, the court permitted Revilla to leave his detention place at 1:30 p.m. to go to the Muntinlupa hospital and come back to the Custodial Center not later than 8 p.m.
The court gave the usual conditions for Revilla’s hospital visit: PNP is tasked to ensure the security detail for Revilla; the use of electronic and communication gadgets is under the supervision of the police; media interviews are not allowed; and the expenses incurred will be shouldered by Revilla.
“We are pleading for mercy of this Honorable court, for compassion to allow the father to visit his son. That’s all there is to it,” Revilla’s lawyer Ramon Esguerra told the court.
Prosecutor Joefferson Toribio said the panel posed no objections, and that he is letting the court to decide on the motion.
“We acknowledge that these are unusual and extraordinary circumstances. That’s why we leave it up to the court,” Toribio told the court.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Esguerra said Jolo may be stable but he is still not out of “danger zone.”
In his motion, Revilla, detained for plunder over his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, said he was “shocked” about the incident and asked the court’s compassion to let him leave his detention place at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center for three hours to visit his son.
“Revilla – as any father would feel – bears that it is his obligation to visit his son to ensure that he is already safe and in a stable medical condition and to spend a few minutes with him to provide support and assurance in this life-threatening situation,” the motion read.
State prosecutors had not moved outright to deny Revilla’s motion, but the panel said Jolo is in stable condition and thus there was no urgency for the Revilla patriarch to leave his detention.
“Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient Vice Governor Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice Governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, 2015, 8:00 p.m. Hence, there is no urgent necessity for accused to leave his place of detention,” the motion read.
Speculations were rife that Jolo tried to commit suicide on Saturday in the family’s house in Ayala Alabang. But the Revilla family’s spokesperson Atty. Raymund Fortun was quick to downplay it as an accidental shooting that happened while Jolo was cleaning his gun.
According to the clinical abstract of the Asian Hospital, the younger Revilla sustained a “self-inflicted” gunshot on the chest.
The vice governor underwent a two-and-a-half hour operation on Sunday afternoon wherein a tube was inserted in his body to drain blood from his lungs.
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