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Bong Revilla to ask PNP to allow visits for detained De Lima

Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., who was once detained over plunder charges related to the controversial "pork barrel" scam, said on Sunday that he will ask the Philippine National Police leadership and its Custodial Center to allow visitation for Senator Leila De Lima for humanitarian reasons.

Revilla made the remark after De Lima's office confirmed that no one has seen or talked to the senator for more than a month already, except for personnel of the PNP Custodial Center.

"I have been there. Yung 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. Tapos, ipagkakait pa sa iyo," Revilla said in a statement.

"Hindi po biro ang mapag-isa sa selda," he added.

In a letter addressed to PNP chief Police General Archie Gamboa on May 23, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senator Risa Hontiveros and Senator Francis Pangilinan said De Lima has been restricted from visitors and physical meetings with anyone since April 25.

They added that this was on top of De Lima being subject to other restrictions since the start of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on March 15.

PNP spokesperson Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac then confirmed that visits to De Lima had been "temporarily restricted" as part of biosafety measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

But Revilla pointed out that the ECQ in Metro Manila has been lifted since May 15, and a general community quarantine is already prevailing over the National Capital Region.

This, he said, should be taken into consideration in dealing with De Lima's current situation.

"Compassion is very important in these trying times," Revilla said.

He also expressed full confidence that the PNP Custodial Center's competence to implement social distancing and safety guidelines for detained persons and their visitors.

Revilla was released from the PNP Custodial Center in December 2018 after he was acquitted of the plunder charges filed against him in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

He, however, still has pending graft cases over the same scam, for which he posted P480,000 bail for his temporary liberty. —LBG, GMA News