‘Paris Hilton, Aung San Suu Kyi granted house arrests, why not GMA?’

Carmela Fonbuena

MANILA, Philippines–Minority leader and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman is pushing for the house arrest of former President Gloria Arroyo, citing other world leaders and celebrities who were granted the favor.

 

In a statement issued Monday, Lagman argued, “Hospital arrests are accepted detention measures in lieu of prison confinement, particularly during the pre-trial and pre-conviction phases of criminal prosecution.”

 

The defense is expected to file a motion for house arrest this week while the prosecution will file a motion to detain Arroyo in a government facility, specifically the Southern Police District headquarters in Taguig.

 

Lagman’s list was dominated by world leaders, but he included notorious American socialite Paris Hilton and lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart.

 

He also included Galileo Galilei, who in 1633, faced the Roman Inquisition and was declared a heretic for his belief in the Copernicus theory that the sun is the center of the universe. Galileo spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

 

Lagman’s list of world leaders put on house arrest include:

 

1. Burma’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi

2. Chile’s former president Augusto Pinochet

3. Indonesia’s former president Sukarno

4. Communist Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang

5. Tunisia’s former King Muhammad VIII al-Amin

6. Tunisia’s former President Habib Bourguiba

7. Egypt’s former President Muhammad Naguib

8. Algeria’s former president Ahmed Ben Bella

9. Argentina’s former president Jorge Videla

10. Iran’s former president Mohammad Mosaddegh

11. Nigeria’s former president Shehu Shagari

12. Pakistan’s former Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

13. Singapore’s former Member of Parliament Chia Thye Poh

14. South Africa’s former Communist Party leader Bram Fischer

15. Russia’s former premiere Nikita Khrushchev

 

Lagman said house arrest is reasonable considering that two issues are still awaiting settlement:

1) The pre-judicial issue pending in the Supreme Court on the constitutionality and legitimacy of the composition of the DOJ-Comelec panel. This affects the validity of the filing of the poll sabotage case and the subsequent warrant of arrest that was issued.

 

2) The right to bail of the former president.

 

“The prosecution’s evidence against her is not strong, as in fact it is weak, hearsay and uncorroborated,” Lagman added. –Move.PH