PNP hospital ready for Enrile

Posted at 06/24/2014 9:19 PM | Updated as of 06/24/2014 9:37 PM

MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital inside Camp Crame will be ready for Senator Juan Ponce Enrile if the need arises, a police official said Tuesday.

Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, the PNP spokesperson, told ANC's "Beyond Politics" that everything will depend on the Sandiganbayan division handling Enrile's plunder and graft cases in connection with the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

"If the court commits Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to our detention facility, he will go through the regular processes, including the booking process," he said. "Meron din kaming back-up plan just in case his health will not allow him to stay longer there."

"Naka-ready na rin po ang aming PNP General Hospital. There will be a specific room that will be assigned, together with all the security requirements, including the forces that will be employed for that purpose," Sindac added.

"Pagka sinabing PNP General Hospital... pagka nandoon siya sa detention center at may nangyaring medical condition or emergency, ready na siyang ilipat," he said.

President Benigno Aquino earlier said he doesn't mind giving humanitarian considerations to the 91-year-old Enrile if he is detained for the pork barrel scam.

Enrile and fellow senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla have been charged with graft and plunder for allegedly funneling their Priority Development Assistance Funds to bogus organisations of Janet Lim Napoles in exchange for kickbacks.

Estrada and Revilla have been ordered arrested by the Sandiganbayan and are now detained at Camp Crame.

Enrile's case was also submitted for resolution at the Sandiganbayan Third Division chaired by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang.

He is facing one count of plunder and 15 counts of graft.

Senator Antonio Trillanes, himself a former inmate at Camp Crame, said Enrile should not be placed in a common detention center because of his frail health.

He said senior citizens have special needs that can't be addressed in a common detention facility.

"He can be detained let's say in a hospital or in a detention facility that can provide for his medical needs. I'm looking at it from a policy perspective. This is not about Senator Enrile. This is about senior citizens, how we would treat senior citizens in general," Trillanes told ANC.

'BONG, JINGGOY NOT COMPLAINING'

Lawyer Salvador Panelo, a family friend of the Revillas, meanwhile, denied that the detained senator is complaining about his detention cell.

Revilla's wife, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado, earlier claimed that her husband is bothered by extreme heat, cockroaches, and rats "as big as cats" inside his detention cell.

"Nobody's complaining," Panelo clarified.

Estrada's lawyer, Atty. Alexis Abastillas-Suarez, issued a similar statement.

She said Estrada has no complaints about his cell.

Panelo also said Revilla is not receiving special treatment.

He said some people think Revilla is getting VIP treatment only because common prisoners suffer sub-human conditions.

He said the government should upgrade common detention facilities instead of the public criticizing the alleged special treatment given to senators.

Panelo also believes that the rights of Revilla and Estrada are being violated because of their continued detention.

He said the Constitution entitles everyone to bail except when charged with capital offense or when evidence of guilt is strong.

He said the second element is missing in the cases against the senators.

Panelo urged their lawyers to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus questioning the constitutionality of their detention.

The 3 senators have been charged with plunder, an offense wherein bail is not a matter of right.

The offense is still bailable, if the court grants the accused's request to grant him or her bail.