Enrile visits ‘kakosa’ Revilla, Estrada: Keep the faith
Just keep the faith.
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile imparted “words of encouragement” to his fellow opposition Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada when he dropped by their jail in Camp Crame on Friday.
It was Enrile’s turn to pay his two kakosa (fellow detainees) a visit hours after he was released from hospital detention following the Supreme Court’s decision to grant him bail pending the trial of the plunder and graft charges against him in the Sandiganbayan over the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
In a statement sent to the Inquirer, Estrada said Enrile tried to lift their spirits by telling them to “hold on” and “not to give up” when he had lunch with him, Revilla and some family members.
“Don’t lose hope. This shall come to pass,” Estrada quoted Enrile as telling them. “He offered words of encouragement to me and Senator Revilla.”
According to Estrada, they did not talk about the May 2016 elections or anything about politics.
Instead, he said, Enrile shared with them the knowledge he gained from reading books during his detention of more than a year at the PNP General Hospital, also in Camp Crame.
“He looked OK. He told us stories about the books he finished reading during his hospital arrest,” he said. “Senator Enrile is still very sharp.”
Unlike Revilla’s and Estrada’s controversial visit to his detention ward during his 91st birthday celebration in February, Enrile’s hour-long stay at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center did not pose any legal question.
Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, spokesperson for the PNP, said Enrile arrived at the custodial center at 12:10 p.m. and left at 1:10 p.m.
After Enrile’s departure, Mayor said Revilla left the custodial center with escorts to receive dental treatment at a Makati clinic scheduled for 1:45 p.m.
Mayor said Revilla’s trip out of the custodial center had court approval.
‘Beacon of hope’
Estrada said the Supreme Court’s decision to give Enrile provisional liberty was a beacon of hope for him and Revilla.
“I’m hoping that Senator Revilla and I would be released next. I have been praying for that,” he said.
Enrile turned himself in to authorities in July 2014 after the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division ordered his arrest on graft and plunder charges over the pork barrel scam.
But he did not spend a single minute in a regular detention cell, as the court approved his request to be placed under hospital arrest due to his frail health.
Enrile’s 154-day confinement in the police hospital cost P76,000, but he paid only P59,000 because he applied his senior citizen’s discount and PhilHealth privilege.
Prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman earlier insisted that Revilla, whose bail petition had been denied by the court, should be transferred to a prison in Bicutan, Taguig City, after he was reportedly seen at Enrile’s birthday party on Feb. 14.
The PNP said Estrada, whose own petition for bail is still pending in the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division, also went to the hospital on that day to receive medical attention.
The incident led to the sacking of several police officials, including the custodial officers of Estrada and Revilla. With a report from Julie M. Aurelio
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