Special treatment? Lawmakers slam PNP chief's consideration of Imelda's age in looming arrest


Posted at Nov 13 2018 12:12 PM | Updated as of Nov 13 2018 12:33 PM

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MANILA - At least 2 lawmakers on Tuesday criticized the statement of Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde that former First Lady Imelda Marcos' age would be considered when it comes to her arrest.

Marcos, 89, was found guilty of 7 counts of graft and sentenced to imprisonment of 6 years and 1 month to 11 years for each of the 7 counts.

Albayalde has said the PNP would have "to take into consideration" the current lawmaker's age and health in her looming arrest.

"The Philippine National Police are making excuses why they cannot arrest the former First Lady if a warrant of arrest will be issued by the court...That in itself shows that there is a special treatment when it comes to powerful people, like Imelda Marcos," said Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate.

Zarate said ordinary Filipinos, including communist consultant Vic Ladlad, who is 68 years old, and 2 of his companions who were also senior citizens would easily be arrested and incarcerated.

"Here, there is a former First Lady, convicted of graft, at sasabihin nila, magkaiba ang treatment. Talagang it goes to show our justice system here, even in the implementation of a decision of the court, magkakaroon ng iba't ibang treatment," he told ANC's Early Edition.

Sen. Francis Escudero, who ran against Marcos' only son in the 2016 vice presidential race, said he also dislikes Albayalde's comments, which were "out of place."

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"He has no business commenting on those things because as members of the police force, they're just supposed to either implement the law or to obey orders of the court," he told ANC's Headstart.

"If the court orders her arrest or denies bail, Gen. Albayalde’s opinion on age and other things are completely immaterial. They have to follow the order of the court," he said.

With the conviction, the Sandiganbayan also ordered for the issuance of arrest warrants against the the former first lady, who the court said used her Cabinet position to maintain Swiss bank accounts during the regime of her husband, late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Albayalde told reporters on Monday that the PNP received information that a warrant might be issued against Marcos later that day and he has instructed the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to lead the potential arrest.

The PNP "will accord the same respect" to Marcos as it did with Senator Antonio Trillanes, who was briefly taken into police custody last September in connection with a failed 2007 uprising, he said.