CBCP backs house arrest for Enrile

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THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) agrees with President Benigno Aquino 3rd that Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile should not be committed to the custodial center in Camp Crame or to any ordinary jail for humanitarian reasons.

Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said the Sandiganbayan should grant house arrest to Enrile, who is 90 years old.

“At a certain age, old prisoners should be given consideration on humanitarian ground,” Castro said. He noted that the prison ministry believes that old and sickly inmates and detainees should be shown kindness and consideration.

The anti-graft court has yet to decide if there is probable cause against Enrile, who is facing plunder and graft charges in connection with the pork barrel scam. A finding of probable cause will lead to the issuance of a warrant of arrest for the senator.


Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who were also charged with plunder, are detained in Camp Crame.

But Castro believes that if the anti-graft court will also order Enrile’s arrest, the senator should not join Revilla and Estrada.

“If a person is really old, for health reasons, that person should no longer be jailed as this might only cause their death,” the priest said.

He noted that Enrile should be accorded respect because he once was a Senate President and is still an incumbent senator.

Enrile’s camp had said they will likely seek hospital or house arrest for the senator, who is suffering from diabetes, hypertension, extensive coronary artery calcification, lumbar spondylosis and macular degeneration.

The President earlier said the Sandiganbayan should consider Enrile’s age and allow him either hospital or house arrest.

Right
Meanwhile, Malacañang on Saturday the Office of the Ombudsman merely exercised the right to amend the plunder case filed against Senators Revilla and Estrada and their co-accused.

“Under criminal procedure, you can file a motion to amend the information before the arraignment. It is a matter of right. That is why Secretary Leila de Lima is puzzled as to why the Sandiganbayan denied such motions,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a radio interview.

The anti-graft court’s First Division rejected the prosecution’s move to revise the plunder complaint against Revilla. On Friday, government prosecutors withdrew their motion to amend the information filed against Estrada when the court warned that the senator will be released if the complaint is amended.

But Representatives Terry Ridon and Sherwin Tugna said the amendments, while critical, would not doom the prosecution at this point.

“A junked amendment does not bode well for the prosecution, but it could also be a case of having a serious reason as for the amendment. What is crucial is for the prosecutors to be certain of their theory to convict the accused,” Ridon said.

“The denial of the prosecution’s Motion to Amend information does not weaken the case since it is merely a remedial measure filed by the prosecution so that there will be lesser objections during trial proper,” Tugna, the House Deputy Majority Leader, said.

The Palace also called on the public to be patient while the Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating allegations that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala were also involved in the pork barrel scam.

“There is a process on how the DOJ evaluate all the affidavits submitted to them. Once an affidavit is submitted to them, it will always be evaluated. There is a vetting process. Even in the past, it also took some time to evaluate the affidavits of Benhur Luy and other whistleblowers,” Lacierda said.

In her affidavit, alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles accused Abad and Alcala, among other lawmakers of getting kickbacks for channeling their pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund to Napoles’ fake nongovernment organizations.

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8 Comments

  1. angelito resma on

    no one is above the law,dapat lahat sa kulungan kung nagkasala,bakit yung pagnanakaw humanitarian reason ba?sa daming nang nagugutom tapos sila ang nagpakasasa saan ang patas dun kahit sa dios hindi yan

  2. ernesto hufana on

    Age should not be a basis if Enriile committed plunder. He should have thought of that prior to what he did to the Filipino people. By staying on his pleasure home that means that the government of the Philippines is condoning what he did. Old people can do criminal act and not be punished but stay in the convenience of their home. What a deal? Would you imagine, with millions of Filipinos starving and could hardly afford the basic needs, yet you have CROOKS in the GOVERNMENT. Were they elected or appointed to steal? What a joke. It is time for the Filipino people to open eyes, ears, and use the best judgment when election comes. Be smart in selecting your leaders. So far the Aquino government is doing what needs to be done. Cleaning the government is somewhat difficult in the Philippines because the corruption is long been a practice by the crook politicians. I hope those people involved will open their eyes and see what is going on around the country. Thank you.

  3. BAKIT kailangang irespeto ang mga ganyang klaseng tao. Dapat mahiya sila sa pagbubulsa ng pera ng tayong bayan. Ibig sabihin nyan ok lang na gumawa ng kapalpakan ang mga may edad ng politiko anyway they cannot be jailed because of their age. So manghurakot na lang hanggang tumanda anyway di sila makukulong.Ang may KASALANAN, DAPAT PARUSAHAN, PERIOD!

  4. Strongly disagree with CBCP. Juan Ponce Enrile have been a corrupt government officials since the time of Ferdinand E. Marcos. With his sins against the common man in this country, he does not deserve the soft-glove treatment. He deserves ordinary jail.

  5. Pete Gabriel on

    Why is he getting a break. He was responsible for making a lot of people go to jail during the Marshal law years. He needs to be place with the rest of the criminal population so he can feel what it’s like to be incarcerated. No mercy for this old fart.

  6. The Palace also called on the public to be patient while the Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating allegations that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala were also involved in the pork barrel scam. This announcement is not true.

    It just so happens that the people no longer trust the “investigations” of the DOJ. It has been earlier reported that the names of Drilon. Kiko Pangilinan, Abad, Tupas, et al were removed from the original list of Napoles. A witness has come forward to reveal this to Carmen Navarro Pedrosa. This being the case, it becomes imperative that utmost vigilance be exerted by the people to see to it that no one who is culpable is leftout.