MANILA (UPDATED) - A manifesto made by inmates of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center declaring the removal of Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada from the facility surfaced Wednesday.
The manifesto, bearing the signatures of 57 people who also once figured in high-profile cases, states a request by the detainees to have the two senators transferred to another detention facility.
The signatories alleged that the noise coming from the celebration of Estrada's wedding anniversary, and the extensive media coverage of the two senators in jail, have put the jail warden, Supt. Mario Malana, in bad light.
In the letter, the signatories defended Malana, saying the latter has been a good custodian to the other detainees, and respects human rights.
The manifesto also states that the real solution to the custodial center's problem is the transfer of the two senators, who are jailed on plunder charges, and not the removal of the jail warden.
The first two signatures appeared to be by Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, accused by authorities as top leaders of the New People's Army.
Other notable signatures purportedly belong to:
Supt. Hansel Marantan, accused of masterminding the Atimonan rubout;
Supt. Rommel Miranda, accused of kidnapping and killing businesswoman Leah Angeles Ng;
suspected Abu Sayyaf leader Khair Mundos;
Rizal Alih, a former police officer charged with starting the siege in Camp Cawa-cawa, Zamboanga that led to the death of Brig. General Eduardo Batalla and others; and,
Atty. Lintang Bedol, a former Maguindanao election supervisor accused of rigging the 2007 elections allegedly to favor candidates allied with former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The name of Atty. Richard Cambe - former aide of Revilla and a co-accused in the plunder charge in connection to the pork barrel scam - appeared in the manifesto but has no signature.
'MANIFESTO IS AUTHENTIC'
It is unclear who fed the said document to the media, but the family of Supt. Marantan vouched for the authenticity of the document.
Speaking at a press conference, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Reuben Sindac acknowledged the existence of the manifesto signed by the detainees of the custodial center.
Sindac said the PNP respects the right of detainees to air their grievances, especially since the written manifesto was respectfully worded and merely stated the detainees' observations.
Sindac said PNP chief Alan Purisima has ordered an investigation into the events that transpired inside the custodial center last weekend, when celebrities and supporters of Estrada were seen inside the facility until the wee hours of the morning, way past visiting hours.
The PNP has sought an explanation from Malana over the incident.