MANILA - A Palace official is confident that security forces can address any unrest that may be created by the looming arrest of senators in connection with the pork barrel scam.
The Sandiganbayan is expected to issue warrants of arrest against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon Revilla Jr. over the alleged plunder of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations.
“Kayang tugunan ‘yan ng ating mga law enforcement authorities,” he said, amid problems hounding police forces.
In 2001, the so-called EDSA 3 broke out when supporters of then President Joseph Estrada and then San Juan Mayor Jinggoy Estrada stormed the Palace to protest their arrest for plunder.
Jinggoy is expected to be detained in Camp Crame, where he was brought in 2001. He has reportedly asked to be granted house arrest.
When asked about this, Coloma said, “Nasa kapangyarihan at pagpapasya po ‘yan ng hukuman.”
Hold departure orders were already issued against the 3 senators and their co-accused.
Coloma said, “’Yon din po ay bahagi ng kapangyarihan at pagpapasya ng hukuman.”
Coloma dispelled notions the government spent extra to refurbish the custodial facilities in Camp Crame for the senators.
“You can check the National Budget for 2014 and the capital expenditures that are allowed for the Philippine National Police and the Department of Interior and Local Government… and these are included in the work programs of the agencies concerned. When the National Budget was enacted, no charges have been filed with any courts,” he noted.
Coloma said it is the government’s duty when it comes to the detention of the accused.
“Kailangan po nating unawain na mayroong tungkulin ang iba’t ibang ahensiya ng pamahalaan at ang tungkulin hinggil sa custodial detention sa umiiral na batas ay nasa larangan ng operasyon ng Department of Interior and Local Government, sa pamamagitan ng Philippine National Police at ng [Bureau of Jail Management and Penology],” he said.