MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Sandiganbayan First Division has allowed Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. to leave his detention facility for five hours to visit his ailing father, actor and former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr., who remains confined in the hospital.
“The court resolves to grant the accused’s motion,” First Division chairman Associate Justice Efren De la Cruz said in open court in a short hearing Tuesday morning.
In a minute resolution issued a few hours after the hearing, the First Division gave Revilla’s camp an option to go to St/ Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City either on Tuesday (July 14) or Wednesday (July 15).
The court said Revilla must be transported from Camp Crame to SLMC not earlier than one hour before 3 p.m., which is considered as the starting time of his visit.
The court said the senator must leave the hospital not later than 8 p.m. of the same day and must be “brought back immediately to his detention cell at Camp Crame.”
The First Division directed PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina to coordinate with the Sandiganbayan Sheriff and Security Services Division in providing Revilla adequate “personal escorts” and security measures during his visit in hospital.
The First Division, however, reminded Revilla’s camp that the use of electronic gadgets and any other means of communication by the senator and those who will accompany him “shall be under the control and supervision of the detailed PNP security.”
The court also prohibited Revilla from granting any interview with the media.
Lastly, the court said all the expenses to be incurred by the PNP in providing escorts and other security measures to Revilla “shall be shouldered and paid by the accused.”
On Saturday, the older Revilla was rushed to SLMC after experiencing fever, chills and vomiting.
Attending physicians at the SLMC later diagnosed him to be suffering from Gram Negative Bacteremia secondary to Urosepsis,” a kind of bacterial infection, and “Septic and Metabolic Encephalopathy,” a kind of disorder in the function of the brain.
Lawyer Raymond Fortun said in a radio interview last weekend that the patriarch of the Revilla political-showbiz clan was rushed to SLMC in Taguig past noon Saturday due to pneumonia and dehydration.
The 88-year-old Ramon Sr. suffered a stroke and underwent an angioplasty procedure in 2008.
‘Court showed compassion’
After the hearing, Revilla’s lawyer Ramon Esguerra thanked the court for its “compassion.”
“Just as before, the court showed compassion,” Esguerra said.
The First Division has once allowed Revilla to leave his detention when his son Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla was confined at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City on March 3 after the latter supposedly shot himself accidentally on his chest while cleaning his pistol.
Esguerra said that while the former senator was already transferred from the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) to a private regular room, his condition remains “life-threatening.”
“We told the court simply that we can argue back and forth about what is life-threatening and what is not. But the fact of the matter remains that the former senator is in the hospital, and the condition, according to the doctor whom we have talked to yesterday, is really life-threatening,” Esguerra said.
Revilla is currently detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame for plunder and graft charges in connection with the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam. (MNS)