Revilla’s hot morning after: ‘Lugaw,’ ‘paksiw’; rats, roaches
The morning after his arrest, Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla woke up to a hot breakfast of lugaw (rice porridge) and had time for a bit of sun at the Philippine National Police custodial center in Camp Crame.
Revilla woke up at around 7 a.m. yesterday in his cell where he spent his first night in detention on plunder charges over the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
“He was able to get a bit of sun. His rationed food was lugaw and egg for breakfast,” said Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, PNP spokesperson.
Security was tight at the custodial center, where a member of Revilla’s legislative staff, lawyer Richard Cambe, is also detained. Cambe is held in a separate cell.
The custodial center houses 74 high-security, high-profile, and high-risk detainees.
The senator’s wife, Rep. Lani Mercado of Bacoor (lone district), Cavite province, their children, and lawyer Salvador Panelo arrived at around noon on Saturday.
Panelo told reporters that it was very hot inside the custodial center, and that he saw cockroaches and rats there.
Mercado confirmed that there are many rats and cockroaches in the custodial center.
In a text message, Revilla’s lawyer Joel Bodegon said he had yet to talk again to his client after the senator was taken to the custodial center after his arrest on Friday.
Sindac said Revilla went to sleep shortly before midnight Friday after discussing some matters with his lawyer.
On his first night in detention, Revilla was rationed ginisang munggo with ampalaya leaves and fried alumahan for dinner.
On Saturday his lunch was paksiw na isda, and his dinner was to be ginisang sayote.
Sindac said those were “the same food rationed to the other detainees there.”
To deal with complaints about the heat, an additional electric fan was brought into the senator’s room “to lessen the humidity,” Sindac said.
Sindac said he last saw Revilla on Friday.
Asked about the senator’s behavior, Sindac said it seemed to him that “[Revilla] was trying to put up a good composure.”
Police are allowing Revilla’s usual medicines to be administered to him, as the senator feared a recurrence of his migraine.
“He has been suffering from migraine since last night. When I visited him at 12:30 a.m. he was watering the concrete floor outside the detention cell to neutralize the heat,” Panelo said.
“We requested … medium coconut trees in a pot and some plants and bushes so that they will absorb some of the heat. We are also thinking of requesting … a fishing net to screen the blistering heat, which has become hazardous to his health,” he said. “When I left him after 30 minutes he was sweeping the floor.”
“I don’t think it’s habitable,” Revilla’s lawyer Bodegon said, referring to the custodial center.
Bodegon recounted that when he entered the room Friday afternoon, he experienced “furnace-like” heat that could cause heat stroke. He said he experienced headache afterward.
He said he might move for “better confinement” for Revilla, adding that he would ask for a copy of the PNP’s rules on detention rooms.
“We have to study these. We will see if things can be done internally with them, without having to go to court,” he said. “He’s a senator. He should be given some kind of consideration to alleviate the conditions in his cell.”
After all, he added, Revilla has not been convicted yet.
The PNP has built a four-room bungalow for Revilla, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada. Each room has a toilet, shower, ceiling fan and bed.
Lawyer Harry Roque called their detention in Camp Crame a special treatment.
All three senators, who were indicted for plunder and graft over the pork barrel scam, arranged to surrender to PNP Director General Alan Purisima at least a month ago.
They did not say if the construction of the bungalow for them was part of the arrangement.
Bodegon said the antigraft court has set the hearing on Revilla’s motion for bail as well as his arraignment for Wednesday.
“He is OK, he is happy that he has visitors and we are visiting him,” Mercado said.
“We just brought him lunch today. We were allowed to do so yesterday,” she said. She did not say what the food was, and Sindac did not mention it.
“Please continue praying for him,” Mercado said.
Mercado and her children left past 3 p.m.
Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief, said the family asked to be allowed to hold a “prayer session” today with Revilla.
“I think they were allowed until 5 p.m.,” he said, adding that the CIDG applies the same rules used in detention centers of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Visits are allowed twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sindac said the CIDG would try to accommodate as many visitors as possible.
“His lawyers, physicians and spiritual advisers can visit anytime during the day,” he added.
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