Palace steers clear of Enrile hospital detention

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 08 2014 05:09 PM | Updated as of Jul 09 2014 06:33 AM

MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday said it is up to the Sandiganbayan if it will grant the motion of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to be placed under hospital arrest.

According to Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., it is the Sandiganbayan that determines the venue for detention of the three senators accused of plunder in connection with the P10 billion pork barrel scam.

"Doon naman sa partikular na conditions of detention, dahil nga napagpasyahan na sila ay sasailalim sa [Philippine National Police] Custodial Detention Service, iyon namang PNP ang naghain ng mga pasilidad na sa inaakala nila ay karapat-dapat at ipinapatupad nila iyong kanilang mga umiiral na patakaran hinggil sa pagkakahiwalay ng iba't ibang pangkat ng mga detainees," he said.

"As a matter of administrative policy, pinaghihiwalay nila iyong iba't ibang mga grupo ng detainees dahil meron silang sinusunod na polisiya o patakaran hinggil diyan."

Coloma sidestepped a question on whether this was a concession to avoid any destabilization attempt.

He also explained the detention situation of the accused in the pork barrel scam cases.

"Ang term ng PNP diyan ay sectoring. Meron silang iba't ibang sektor or classification of detainees at iyon ang kanilang administrative procedure para diyan."

Enrile on Monday asked the Sandiganbayan Third Division to allow his hospital detention at the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital where he has been confined since Friday.

In his motion for detention, Enrile said he is already 90 years old and not a flight risk.

He also asked the court that the hospital administrator be given continuing authority to "exercise his professional medical judgment or discretion to allow Enrile's immediate access or temporary visit to, another medical facility outside of Camp Crame, in case of emergency or necessity..."

He pointed out that the PNP General Hospital may not have the necessary specialists or resources to fully address elderly needs.

Enrile is facing plunder and graft charges before the anti-graft court for allegedly pocketing millions of pesos in pork barrel kickbacks. He was ordered arrested last Friday after the court found probable cause to indict him.