No orange garb for VIP detainee Revilla
Why was Sen. Bong Revilla not in orange prison garb when he showed up for his arraignment at the Sandiganbayan on Thursday?
The Philippine National Police had a ready answer: The senator did not need to wear one.
Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, PNP Public Information Office chief, explained that detainees were required to wear the orange prison uniform only if they were considered flight risks.
Sindac said Revilla yielded to the Sandiganbayan moments before it could issue a warrant for his arrest on June 20.
Revilla, an action movie star who parlayed his popularity into a political career, looked dapper in a white barong tagalog, smiling and waving to his fans and political supporters who waited for him outside the Sandiganbayan.
“The detainees wear uniforms [for easy identification], especially if there’s a risk of escape,” Sindac told a press briefing at Camp Crame.
“But the people arrested (over the pork barrel scam) are known personalities. They also travel under tight security. If they plan to escape, the security personnel assigned to them could easily subdue them,” he said.
This was also the reason why his police jailers decided not to handcuff Revilla when he went to his arraignment, Sindac said.
“The handcuffs are tools for restraint, especially when the risk of flight is high. Revilla voluntarily surrendered so it’s very unlikely for him to escape,” Sindac said.
He said there was no law or rule that required detainees to wear jail uniforms every time they attend court hearings.
“It’s not a rule but just an administrative policy that can be adopted depending on the situation,” he said.
“The detainees are asked to wear decent clothes when they need to attend [hearings],” Sindac added.
No VIP treatment
Sindac denied that Revilla was being given VIP treatment.
Since he turned himself in to the authorities on June 20, Revilla has been held in one of the four 32-square-meter detention rooms in the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame.
His friend and fellow actor-turned-lawmaker, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, is detained in an adjacent room. The rooms have their own toilets and baths, kitchen, a bed and a ceiling fan.
Estrada and Revilla were also allowed to bring in additional electric fans after they complained of the unbearable heat in their detention rooms.
Aboard a coaster and under tight watch by his police guards, Revilla was taken to the Sandigabayan around 7:20 a.m.
He was taken back to his detention room at 2:45 p.m.
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