Bong Revilla plea to attend daughter’s debut denied
The Sandiganbayan denied the request of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to attend her daughter Loudette’s debut as he is detained for plunder over the pork barrel scam.
In a resolution released Friday, the antigraft court’s First Division said it was inclined to deny Revilla’s request for leave because it had similarly thumbed down the senator’s previous requests to attend family matters.
The court had denied Revilla’s request to attend Loudette’s graduation last March.
The court agreed with the prosecution that Revilla’s request does not pertain to an “exceptional circumstance” because he only wanted to attend a social gathering.
The court added that allowing Revilla to attend a social event would expose him to security risks. It also said a prisoner like him has limited rights as an accused.
“The Court is inclined to deny the motion. As correctly pointed out by the prosecution, the instant matter does not present an exceptional circumstance, being merely a social event, that would warrant a deviation from the general limitations on the rights of an accused detention prisoner,” the court said.
“Furthermore, the Court considers significant the huge risks to which the accused would be exposed if the motion were granted, given that the very purpose for the furlough is for the accused to be at a birthday celebration – a party – where he will present his daughter to a lot of people.” it added.
Revilla had asked the court’s nod to attend the debut of his daughter Ma. Fraznel Loudette Bautista as part of his fatherly duties to present his daughter as a young adult.
Loudette’s birthday celebration will be held at Bellevue Hotel, Alabang, Muntinlupa city on October 24, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“As part of the family-oriented Filipino culture, during Loudette’s 18th birthday, her parents would present her to society as a young lady coming of age and formally turning into an adult,” Revilla’s motion read.
“It is a tradition which daughters and their families prepare for, look forward to, and treasure for the rest of their lives. As a father, Senator Revilla wishes to perform his obligations and be part of Loudette’s special day,” it added.
Revilla surrendered in 2014 and is now detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center as he stands trial for plunder. He is accused of pocketing P224.5 million in kickbacks from his pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Funds through the ghost projects under the alleged scheme of Janet Lim-Napoles.
Also detained for plunder is Revilla’s colleague Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who is accused of pocketing P183.7 million in kickbacks. Enrile, now out on bail, is accused of receiving P172.8 million in kickbacks. IDL
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