MANILA, Philippines – Under temporary detention at the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital in Camp Crame, Quezon City, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile asked anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to allow him to stay further in the hospital.
In a motion for hospital detention filed Monday, July 7, the senator also asked to be allowed “temporary visits” to medical facilities outside Camp Crame.
The PNP temporarily detained the former Senate president at the hospital last Friday, July 4, hours after he was ordered arrested on plunder and graft charges. The police said it granted the Enrile family’s request for hospital arrest but conceded the move was not stipulated by the court in its arrest order.
Enrile’s motion on Monday asked the court to make his hospital detention permanent – unless of course he is ordered released.
Enrile also told the Sandiganbayan that the hospital “may not have the necessary specialists or resources to fully address Enrile’s elderly needs and poor medical condition.”
The senator said full authority should be given to the PNP General Hospital head or administrator to determine when these off-site visits would be needed.
He said he would be “secured with the appropriate guards” and be returned to the PNP General Hospital during and after the off-site treatments.
On Saturday, July 5, Enrile temporarily left detention at Camp Crame for a check-up at the Asian Eye Institute in Makati City.
The 90-year-old Enrile is suffering from age-related macular degeneration – one of his illnesses that his lawyers had cited on June 13 to convince the anti-graft court that he was not a flight risk and should be granted bail. Under the law, plunder is a non-bailable offense.
Ahead of his surrender last July 4, Enrile earlier asked the court to allow him to post bail for his temporary liberty. He cited his old age and frail condition, as well as the absence of a strong evidence of guilt against him.
But the court, upon issuance of Enrile’s arrest warrant, denied his motion for bail. The court said the request is “premature,” as bail cannot be granted to a person who has yet to submit to the court’s jurisdiction. At the time, Enrile had yet to surrender.
Enrile is facing plunder and graft charges. He is accused of knowingly and financially gaining from allowing his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to fund fictitious projects of bogus non-governmental organizations controlled by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
Enrile allegedly pocketed P172 million (almost $4 million) in kickbacks from the PDAF scam. – Rappler.com
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