Netizens angered by PNP double standard towards Imelda Marcos
MANILA, Philippines – Social media momentarily erupted with celebration on Friday, November 9, when news came out that the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan convicted Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos of 7 counts of graft. (READ: DOCUMENT: Full decision convicting Imelda Marcos over illegal Swiss foundations)
The celebration, however, lived shortly as people began to ask: will she go to jail or not? At least 5 days after the order was released, the answer to this question remains in the negative.
The stark contrast between how PNP is handling the former first lady's case and other recent controversial arrest cases did not escape the attention of many Filipino netizens. The Philippine National Police (PNP) primarily cited Imelda Marcos’ old age when asked why they did not send an advance team to standby for a court order for her arrest. (READ: No cuffs for Imelda Marcos if arrested – PNP)
Other lolas, lolos in jail
But instead of placating netizens over the delay in Imelda's arrest, the excuse instead ignited a flurry of posts online arguing why PNP’s justification is moot.
If health and age are factors for cops when they conduct their arrest, netizens asked: What about the poor old man who was detained after stealing a bar of chocolates? Netizens also remembered the story of the 94-year old woman in Dapitan who was accused of hiring a gunman to kill her son.
On other hand, netizens also asked about the arrest of Vic Ladlad, an old and sickly National Democratic Front consultant who was recently apprehended by police.
There is also no special rule in the country's penal system that gives the elderly an instant pass to skip jail time. In fact, data according to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the Bureau of Corrections showed that at least 4,500 senior citizens are currently either detained or jailed.
‘Strong enough to run’
If there's any better indicator that she is strong enough to serve her time in jail, netizens pointed out her plan to still run as Ilocos Norte governor in the upcoming elections. According to them, if she is strong enough to run, she is strong enough to go to jail.
In a statement, Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (Carmma) said that PNP's refusal to send an advance team to arrest Imelda shows the double standard in how they handle these situations.
"The police is blatantly and deliberately obstructing justice by refusing to arrest Marcos, and thus deepening the injustice felt by the victims of the Marcos family," Carrma said.
This sentiment was echoed by many netizens online. Here are some:
The problem is that in spite of her conviction she is still able to commit more graft offenses or do cover up of them.— janet go (@jango1224) November 14, 2018
Ano yan special treatment eh bakit yong mga old na nakakulong pa till now— reila (@kulotlola) November 14, 2018