Probe ordered on visitation hours for detained senators

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Monday, June 30, 2014

MALACANANG was surprised to know Monday that the visiting hours for detained Senators Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. were not followed, an official said.

Several visitors of the two senators arrived around 9 a.m. Sunday, June 29, and reportedly stayed until 1 a.m. of Monday. This is in violation of the visitation rules set for the two detained lawmakers, which state that Revilla and Estrada's visitors – including family members, friends and supporters – will only be allowed every Thursday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., while their lawyers, spiritual advisers and physicians will be allowed anytime.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Alan Purisima has ordered an investigation on what happened, including the alleged partying of the senators' relatives at their detention center at Camp Crame's custodial center.

Purisima asked Superintendent Mario Malana, chief of the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, to explain why they allowed the visitors of the lawmakers to stay even beyond the visiting hours.

"General Purisima informed (Interior and Local Government) Secretary Mar Roxas...Certainly, we were surprised that the visitation rules were not followed," he said.

He noted that PNP spokesman Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac has informed the public that there were visitation rules.

"Kaya bakit lumampas sila sa visitation rules? 'Yon ang gusto nating malaman at pinagpapaliwanag ngayon ang mga nasa PNP custodial center kung ano ang nangyari. At the same time, Secretary Mar Roxas has also ordered the PNP custodial center to align itself with the BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology) rules," Lacierda added.

Sindac said earlier that the custodial center will only allow 30 visitors at a time.

Members of the press noticed that there were more than 30 visitors inside the newly renovated detention cells.

Revilla and Estrada are facing plunder and graft charges in connection with the alleged misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund. (SDR/Third Anne Peralta/Sunnex)

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