Today it is Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr.
Tomorrow or the days to follow it will be Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada.
By God, it looks unreal, but is happening and unfolding right in front of the public’s eyes!
Anywhere you look at it, a prisoner is defined as a person legally held in prison as a punishment for crimes they have committed or while awaiting trial.
Or he could be a person deprived of liberty and kept in prison or some other form of custody as a punishment for a crime, while awaiting trial, or for some other reason.
Whether a warrant for your arrest is served in your presence or you surrender voluntarily because you don’t want to be surrounded by the arresting officers who would take you for the booking process, like fingerprinting and the taking of your mug shot, only signifies that you have been charged of a crime without any reason of doubt and that, indeed, you are now a prisoner in the truest sense of the word. It becomes even more definitive since the crime of plunder is a non-bailable offense.
So now that the likes of Sen. Revilla is a prisoner, what gives?
Well, some reports about improving Revilla’s accommodation at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Camp Crame custodial center are disconcerting and demoralizing to many decent and hard working Filipinos that it should strictly remind the authorities that no distinction and special treatment should be accorded any prisoner simply because he is a government official and a senator at that.
No less than the wife and the lawyer of Revilla are proposing/suggesting some niceties that would otherwise change the spartan setting of the room to suit the convenience of the prisoner. I would like to think that these are all wishful thinking and that the presence of rats and roaches goes along with the territory he finds himself in. Who are they anyway to complain about rats?
Convenience, the senator already has if he realizes that he may be confined in a simple and austere environment, but it is a house just the same and not in a cell, behind bars, where he ought to be, until he can prove beyond reasonable doubt that he is innocent in the plunder and graft charges against him.
Charges of plunder and graft and corrupt practices for allegedly diverting congressional funds to bogus NGOs implementing ghost projects are no trivial infractions committed by a person, more so if that person is a senator of the realm.
It is perceived to be a deliberate misuse or diversion of a lump-sum discretionary fund granted to each member of Congress for spending on priority development projects of the Philippine government, mostly on the local level, but wasn’t done, thus, depriving the poor of a better quality life.
Revilla allegedly pocketed more than P224 million in kickbacks from the scam. This is how serious the crime he allegedly committed and this is what makes him a prisoner in the truest sense of the word, until he finds himself acquitted – if ever.