Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cited the case of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile in arguing that the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s First Division should grant her plea to be placed under house arrest.
Arroyo, who is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City, is facing a P366-million plunder suit in connection with alleged misuse of state charity funds during her presidency.
“President Arroyo and Senator Enrile are similarly situated. Like Senator Enrile, President Arroyo is also of fragile health and is a non-flight risk. Moreover, President Arroyo has undergone three major spinal surgeries and she is yet to fully recover from her bone and other illnesses, as certified to by veteran government doctors,” the defense said in a Reply filed on Tuesday.
“But unlike Senator Enrile, President Arroyo is not asking for bail [which means release from detention]but simply that her current custodial arrangement be modified [which means that she will still be detained albeit in her residence],” it added.
Enrile, 91, is out on bail.
He is facing plunder and graft charges in connection with the pork barrel scam and posted bail last month after the Supreme Court (SC) granted his petition for bail on humanitarian grounds.
Arroyo filed the Reply in response to the Comment/Opposition filed by the prosecution on a Supplemental Submission she earlier filed, wherein her camp informed the court on who the occupants of her homes in La Vista in Quezon City and Lubao in Pampanga were.
The defense is asking the court to place Arroyo under house arrest either in her home in La Vista or in her hometown of Lubao, saying it would help her recover more fully and quickly.
In the supplemental submission, it said that her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo and two household staff occupy the La Vista residence and that there were five active Presidential Security Group personnel for every shift out of a total of eight.