Revilla asked to submit proof daughter is graduating
The Sandiganbayan First Division on Thursday deferred its decision on the plea of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., detained for plunder over his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, to attend the graduation of his daughter upon the request of government lawyers for proof of her graduation.
The court has deferred its decision until Revilla’s defense team submits the list of graduates and a document that would prove Revilla’s daughter Loudette Bautista will be awarded in the ceremony.
Prosecutor Jun Dela Cruz said since Revilla’s bail on plunder was denied by the court, allowing him to attend the graduation is tantamount to special privilege.
“(Granting the motion) would be a special treatment to the accused,” Atty. Dela Cruz told the court.
In their comment opposition to Revilla’s motion, the prosecution team said Revilla “should have… substantiated his claim with proof that his daughter Loudette is indeed one of the candidates for graduation from De La Salle Zobel.”
First Division chair Associate Justice Efren Dela Cruz smiled at the prosecution’s request to ask for proof of graduation.
Revilla’s lawyer Keith Pioquinto said they will provide the court with the requested documents within the day.
In his motion, Revilla pleaded for the “compassion and understanding” of the court to allow him to attend the graduation rites of his daughter at De La Salle Zobel in Muntinlupa from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 28.
“As a testament of her diligence and hard work as a student, Revilla was informed by his wife, Congresswoman Lani Mercado Revilla, that their daughter, Loudette, will receive the following awards: St. Mutien Marie Award, St. La Salle Award, and Alfonso Yuchengco National Discipline Award,” the motion said.
Revilla said he does not want to abuse the compassion of the court when it already allowed him to visit his son Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla when the latter was hospitalized for “accidentally” shooting himself in the chest.
“As a proud father, Senator Revilla would want to share the momentous occasion with his daughter for his very important educational achievement and special milestone in her life,” the motion said.
In their comment opposition to the motion, government lawyers asked the court to deny Revilla’s request, saying allowing him to attend his daughter’s graduation “will grant him a special privilege that is not accorded to an ordinary prisoner…”
It will also “unduly create an impression to the public that accused Revilla, being a high-ranking public official, is a favored detainee.”
“It is precisely for this reason that the Fifth Division of this Honorable Court earned the ire of the public when it granted a similar motion filed by Senator Jinggoy Estrada and allowed the latter to attend the graduation ceremonies of his son,” the comment said.
Revilla filed the motion days after the court allowed his co-accused Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada to attend the graduation of his son Julian Emilio at OB Montessori.
The court allowed Estrada to attend his son’s graduation because the child may be traumatized due to the absence of his father. “We’re not doing this for Senator Estrada. We’re doing this for the child,” Fifth Division chair Associate Justice Roland Jurado has said.
Estrada and Revilla are detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center for plunder by allegedly pillaging their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) through ghost projects for kickbacks. Detained in the hospital for plunder is Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. ID
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