Should Janet Lim-Napoles be placed under hospital arrest?
An official of the Catholic Church said that the request of Napoles—alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam—to be placed under hospital arrest was suspicious.
Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said that Napoles should have been placed under hospital arrest even before she was detained at the Fort Santo Domingo in Santa Rosa, Laguna “if she was really sick.”
He noted that Napoles made the request after a lawmaker urged the government to transfer her to a regular detention cell or the Makati City Jail.
“When she [Napoles] was there in that army camp, she did not ask for anything, but now that she is to be placed in a regular prison she suddenly realizes she prefers hospital arrest. Kung totoo iyon [medical condition]di sana noon pa hiningi na niya iyong hospital arrest,” [If her claim about her medical condition is true, she should have made the request for hospital arrest right from the start,]” Cruz said.
However, he clarified that he was “not judging whether Napoles was telling the truth or not” regarding her medical condition.
“I am just saying that it is suspicious,” he said.
Recently, Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Cavite urged the government to transfer the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind to a regular detention cell from the Fort Santo Domingo detention facility where she is now incarcerated.
Barzaga said that Napoles was not entitled to any kind of special treatment.
Napoles on Tuesday asked a Makati court to allow her to be examined for an ovarian tumor and to be placed under hospital arrest at Saint Luke’s Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig if necessary.
Lawyer Fay Isaguirre Singson disclosed that Napoles’ doctors have recommended that she undergo a transvaginal ultrasound procedure.
On the other hand, Cruz noted that “hospital arrest” has been an option for some big time special detainees.
Former President and now Rep. Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga, for one, has been detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City for a plunder case in connection with the alleged misuse of P366-million Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office intelligence funds during her incumbency.
Cruz, however, said that Arroyo deserves to be under hospital arrest. “As far as GMA [Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] is concerned, she is very sick, which is very evident. She has lost a lot of weight,” he said.
Cruz recently visited Arroyo at the VMMC, which was followed by a visit from Archbishop Rolando Tirona (Nueva Caceres, Naga), Archbishop Neri Odchimar (Tandag), Bishop Emilio Marquez (Quezon), Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan and Bishop Ramon Villena (Nueva Vizcaya).
The bishops said that their visit was part of their responsibility as priests.