Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada have met separately with the head of the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) to work out the arrangements for their surrender once the Sandiganbayan orders their arrest.
Revilla said he talked to CIDG chief Benjamin Magalong two months ago and asked not to be subjected to ridicule when they serve the warrant because he has no intention to resist arrest.
“They [CIDG] also do not want the serving of the arrest order to go ugly, so let’s see how they will execute the order,” he told reporters in a phone patch interview.
Revilla said he wants to see his father, former senator Ramon Revilla Sr., before he is brought to jail.
In a separate interview, Estrada confirmed talking to Magalong last month to ask if the warrant could be served outside his residence.
“Being arrested at home will be too traumatic for my children,” he said.
Estrada, Revilla and Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile are facing plunder and graft charges at the Sandiganbayan.
The anti-graft court has issued hold-departure orders (HDOs) against the three and other respondents in the cases, including Janet Lim-Napoles, who is believed to be the mastermind of the pork barrel scam.
The three senators are likely to be detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame in Quezon City. Last Monday, the PNP spokesman showed media representatives the detention quarters being readied for the lawmakers.
Also on Wednesday, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Virgilio Mendez said there will be no special treatment for the three senators.
Mendez added that the senators and the other 54 accused “might even end up among the ordinary inmates.”
The 90-year-old Enrile has requested to be given special consideration due to his age and fragile physical condition.
On Tuesday, the Sandiganbayan issued the HDOs against Enrile, Revilla, Napoles and their co-accused. A similar order was issued against Estrada last Monday.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., meanwhile, said it is up to the Sandiganbayan to decide to place the three senators under house arrest.
“We respect the independence of the judiciary,” Coloma told reporters.
Estrada has said he prefers house arrest, but will accept it if he is placed in a jail cell in Camp Crame, the PNP’s headquarters.
“If we will be placed at Camp Crame, no problem. If the Sandiganbayan says we should be detained at a regular jail with ordinary criminals, we can’t do anything,” he added.
Revilla said he is ready to be arrested. “My bags are ready, it’s in my car. Wherever they will arrest me, I’m ready.”
He added, “If they want, they can put me in a dungeon. No problem with me.”
With Catherine S. Valente