Revilla urges PNP to allow visitors for De Lima

Published June 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. on Sunday urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to allow detained colleague, Sen. Leila De Lima, to receive visitors while she is detained at the PNP’s Custodial Center.

Sen. Bong Revilla Jr. (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Bong Revilla Jr.
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Revilla, who was also detained at the same facility for nearly five years, reiterated De Lima is also entitled to visitation privileges, especially now that the enhanced community quarantine has been lifted since May 15.

The general community quarantine (GCQ) is already in effect, the senator pointed out. He said this should be taken into consideration in De Lima’s current situation.

“I have been there. Yun ang tanging hinihintay mo sa pagdating ng bukas ay makita ang mga bisita mo, magkaroon ng kausap, at ng human interaction maski papaano gaanong kalimitado man ito. (That’s the only thing you wait is to see your visitors the next day, so you can have someone to talk to, have a human interaction even though its limited),” Revilla explained.

“Tapos, ipagkakait pa sa iyo, (why deny that?)” he lamented. “Hindi po biro ang mapag-isa sa selda (It isn’t easy to be in prison),” the senator reminded.

Revilla said he is confident the PNP Custodial Center is competent enough to implement social distancing and safety guidelines for visitors and detainees.

“Compassion is very important in these trying times,” he said of De Lima, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, who is still facing allegations of being involved in the drug trade, which she has repeatedly denied.

The PNP earlier confirmed they have disallowed visitors from coming to De Lima’s detention cell in order to strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocols and ensure the health of detainees as well as its personnel.

Fellow members of the Senate minority bloc also denounced the PNP’s move saying De Lima’s incommunicado detention is a violation of the Constitution and her human rights.

It could be recalled that Revilla was once detained at the PNP custodial center when he faced charges of plunder charges after being accused of funneling P224.5-million worth of public funds to fake non-government organizations. He was later acquitted from the plunder case. [Hannah L. Torregoza]