Government prosecutors on Tuesday urged the Sandiganbayan not to grant hospital arrest to Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, saying he is not too frail to stay at the custodial center in Camp Crame where Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. are being detained for plunder.
Prosecutor Annielyn Medes Cabelis said Enrile, 90, is not weak enough to be put under hospital arrest as evidenced by his unflinching ability to fulfill his duties as a lawmaker until his arrest last week.
“While we recognize the situation of the 90-year-old senator and are ready to provide assistance under the law, this motion is unfounded and self-serving because as shown by his past actions, he was able to perform his arduous task as a lawmaker, he attends meetings and has even said he underwent stem cell therapy that added vigor to his life,” Cabelis told the Sandiganbayan Third Division.
“His medical condition is not as precarious as [it is]presented [by the defense],” she added.
Enrile on Monday asked the anti-graft court to allow him to temporarily stay at the Philippine National Police General Hospital because of his frail condition.
Police officials said the senator is coping well in his detention cell.
“He is doing well and coping with the situation,” PNP spokesman and Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac told reporters also on Tuesday during a briefing in Camp Crame, the PNP headquarters in Quezon City.
Enrile was scheduled to undergo a 2-D echo at the PNP General Hospital last night.
Sindac said the senator is sleeping well. Also on Tuesday, he had pandesal (bread) with kesong puti (white cheese) and two boiled eggs for breakfast.
The prosecution also opposed a petition of Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, Enrile’s former chief of staff, to be detained at the PNP Custodial Center.
In her petition, Reyes said the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) may not be capable of securing her.
But Cabelis noted that it is not for the BJMP to determine if Reyes is a high profile/risk detainee, and that overcrowding cannot be a valid reason for her transfer since most of the jails across the country are congested.
“This motion of Reyes is unfounded because the BJMP has been able to transport its detainees to and from the courtroom safely. We don’t see any reason why they can’t do it this time,” the government lawyer pointed out.
Reyes is being held at the Sandiganbayan detention cell while the anti-graft court deliberates on her motion for transfer.