IF some senators had their way, their colleague, Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, should not be incarcerated at a Camp Crame jail for humanitarian reasons.
Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday said Enrile, 90, may be granted hospital arrest because of his frail condition.
The Sandiganbayan’s Third Division is yet to determine if there is probable cause to order the arrest of Enrile for plunder in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said because of Enrile’s age, it is only right for the court to allow him to be placed under house arrest.
Ejercito noted that while he considers Enrile strong for a 90-year-old man, the conditions in the detention facility could be unbearable for a man of his age.
“For humanitarian reasons, I just hope that he will be given that luxury of being under house arrest,” Ejercito, a half-brother of detained Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, said.
Estrada and Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. are detained in Camp Crame, the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Quezon City.
Cayetano said while there is a big chance that Enrile will be allowed hospital arrest, the veteran senator should still undergo the normal process of being booked in case the anti-graft court issues an arrest warrant.
“He still needs to turn himself in and subject [himself]to the booking process and be turned over to the PNP Custodial Center,” he added.
But if there will be signs of health problems, Enrile should be taken to a doctor, Cayetano said.
He also noted that unlike Revilla and Estrada who are still young and could somehow cope with harsh conditions inside their detention cells, an elderly man like Enrile will not be able to withstand the conditions in the custodial center.
Enrile suffers from poor hearing, macular degeneration, high blood pressure and vertigo.