No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - March 3, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center.

The pleading did not categorically state that government lawyers are actually against granting the lawmaker a three-hour furlough.

“Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, 2015, 8 p.m.,” the prosecution said.

“Hence, there is no urgent necessity for accused to leave his place of detention,” ombudsman lawyers headed by Deputy Special Prosecutors John Turalba, Manuel Soriano and Director Joefferson Toribio added.

In a two-page urgent motion, Revilla pleaded for compassion and understanding from the Sandiganbayan in asking for at least a three-hour furlough to visit his son in hospital.

His lawyers said Revilla “beseeches this honorable court to allow him to visit his son Jolo, and spend time with him for at least three hours at the Asian Hospital, as soon as possible, subject to the terms and conditions which this honorable court may impose.”

“More importantly, Sen. Revilla – as any father would feel – bears that it is his obligation to visit his son to ensure that he is already safe and in stable medical condition, and to spend a few moments with him to provide support and assurance in this life-threatening situation,” the motion read.

Jolo was rushed Saturday morning to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City after suffering a gunshot wound in his right chest.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada also asked the anti-graft court yesterday to consider granting Sen. Revilla’s request for furlough to see his son at the hospital.

“Nagmamakaawa rin ako, I am appealing to the Sandiganbayan to please allow him to visit his son,” Estrada told reporters in a chance interview on the sidelines of his bail hearing at the Fifth Division.

“We are deeply saddened by what happened to the son of Sen. Revilla, Vice Governor Jolo. And I hope the Sandiganbayan First Division will grant the request of Senator Revilla to visit his son, kahit mamaya,” he said.

Estrada said he treats Revilla’s children as his own, noting that the two senators as well as their children are good friends.

He said even his children are affected by the incident.

Both Estrada and Revilla are currently held without bail at the PNP custodial center in Camp Crame on plunder charges for their alleged involvement in the pork barrel fund scam.

Asked how Sen. Revilla is doing, Estrada said his fellow lawmaker is “very, very worried about his son.”

“I feel for him. It is painful that he could not attend to his family because he would still need to ask permission,” Estrada said, describing Sen. Revilla as “laging namumugto ang mata.”

Probe on shooting

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Carmelo Valmoria formed yesterday a special investigating team and a composite team to look into the circumstances behind the “accidental” shooting of Jolo.

Valmoria directed Southern Police District Chief Supt. Henry Ranola to gather more information about the shooting. He said the investigation would determine whether it was purely accidental, as claimed by the Revilla family’s spokesman, lawyer Raymond Fortun.

 Meanwhile, the composite team, headed by Muntinlupa City police chief Sr. Supt. Allan Nobleza, has made contact with Revilla’s family.

 The NCRPO chief clarified that the composite teams is different from the special investigation task group, although both are composed of other police units like the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the PNP crime laboratory.

Valmoria refused to divulge the progress of the investigation so as not to jeopardize the ongoing probe.

“It is still premature to reveal our initial findings. But all I can say is that Nobleza’s team has already met Revilla’s family,” Valmoria said in an interview.

The composite team conducted a case conference yesterday but the NCRPO chief clarified that no reports have been forwarded to his office.

Nobleza likewise declined to give more details.

When asked about the liability of Jolo, Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. said, “The liability of a gun owner is only when he inflicts injury or causes the death of another person. But if it involves yourself, I don’t think there is a liability except that you should be very careful in handling firearms.” – With Perseus Echeminada, Non Alquitran, Cecille Suerte Felipe


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