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Bong Revilla cries human rights violation over DOJ's bid to cancel his passport


(Updated 4:40 p.m.) Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. on Friday said his basic human rights were "trampled upon" when the Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to have his passport cancelled after he was implicated in the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.
 
“The way things are going, I don’t think we can expect fairness. Kung mismong ang Konstitusyon at mga karapatang pantao na ang binabalewala, paano pa nating aasahan ang katarungan?" Revilla said in a statement.
 
Revilla likewise criticized Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for her "utter disregard" of basic human rights.
 
"We have a Secretary of Justice who is just more than willing to disrespect the law to pursue her own agenda. What is ironic is that she used to be the chair of the Commission on Human Rights," Revilla said.

"Dahil sa kanyang katakawan sa publicity, sa kanyang ambisyong pulitikal, at sa kanyang hangarin magpasikat, binabalewala niya ang batas," the senator added.
 
Revilla, who is aligned with the Senate majority, also described the DOJ's move as an attempt at "decapitating the opposition at all costs."
 
“Ngayon pa lang, kahit wala pang demanda na nakasampa laban sa amin, daig pa namin ang convicted na. Paano kaming magtitiwala ng mayroon pang due process kung hindi pa nga nagsisimula ang proseso ay gusto na kaming parusahan?" he said.

Earlier, Revilla's legal counsel, Joel Bodegon, described the DOJ’s decision to ask the DFA to cancel his client’s passport as “ridiculous.”
 
“Unless we are now under martial law, it is ridiculous for this government to resort to cancellation of passports of those they wrongfully charge as part of the pork barrel scam,” Bodegon said in a text message.

On Friday, De Lima countered:  "Katawa-tawa siguro sa kanila pero katawa-tawa kaya iyan sa milyun-milyon na tao natin na naghihirap dahil sa pandarambong ng mga public respondents."
 
"Kaya nga ho I got so interested when the results of our research showed na puwede i-link - and as a matter of fact nili-link talaga lalo na yung mga large-scale and massive graft and corruption katulad ng PDAF at ng Malampaya - sa national security," she added.
 
On Thursday, the DOJ, citing "the interest of national security," asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to cancel the passports of Senators Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and 34 others facing plunder complaints in connection with the alleged pork barrel scam. 
 
Revilla, Estrada and Enrile allegedly pocketed million of pork barrel funds in kickbacks they funneled to bogus non-government organizations linked to controversial businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
 
The DFA said it wiill seek "written comments" from the 37 people whose passports were requested by the DOJ to be cancelled. — Andreo Calonzo and Mark Merueñas/RSJ, GMA News
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