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Time to send Bong, Jinggoy to regular jail

/ 01:29 AM March 07, 2015

Impunity has many faces. This showed in the recent side trips made by Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada to the birthday celebration of coaccused Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, at the specialty ward of the Philippine National Police Hospital where the latter is detained. Which brings to mind similar episodes where their visitors were allowed to stay beyond visiting hours, and their relatives to bring in food fit for a lavish fiesta, all contrary to custodial regulations. This time, they even feigned illness, claiming the meeting with the birthday celebrant was “by accident”—the same excuse given by their jailers and later shown to be a lie—when they were “caught in the act” sneaking into the gathering.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is rightly incensed over the acts and omissions of the officers and designated guards of PNP’s Headquarters Support Service and Custodial Center. They acted like amateurs compared to their counterparts in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

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Were they star-struck? Were they pressured? Or were they paid off by these powerful prisoners who are on trial for plunder, so they could give the accused what is clearly special treatment?

The petition filed by the Ombudsman, asking the Sandiganbayan to commit these lawmakers-turned-lawbreakers to regular jails has more basis now. The court should also consider the senators’ apparent propensity to flout the law. If the judiciary appears in the public eye cowed by them and fearful of their political clout and influence, where can the public turn for justice?

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It is time to commit Revilla and Estrada to regular jails. The people expect them to behave; after all, as elected national officials they are already being accorded special treatment—e.g., being put in much better jail conditions. But despite this, both of them, it now appears, corrupted their jailers so they could attend their ring leader’s birthday bash, and then thumbed their noses at the public when it expressed dismay over their latest caper; later, it assumed a cocky stance to assert that they belong with the special and untouchable. Enough is enough!

They make a mockery of our justice system, and we tolerate them? Send them to a regular jail, NOW!

—HERNANI PIZARRO GERONIMO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, Mar Roxas
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