MANILA – Despite their differences, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday said he favors house or hospital arrest to former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the three accused senators in the plunder case over pork barrel scam.
”If Senator Enrile will ask for hospital, I will not oppose. He is very senior citizen and should be treated differently,” Trillanes said in a phone-patched interview with Senate media.
The Sandiganbayan is expected to issue arrest warrant for Enrile within this week after the anti-graft court released warrant of arrest for Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada last Friday and Monday, respectively.
The three senators have been charged with plunder and graft for allegedly receiving kickbacks from their priority development assistance fund (PDAF) released to fake non-government organizations (NGOs) of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
As member of the Philippine Senate, Trillanes said he will visit his detained colleagues including Enrile if the 90-year-old lawmaker will be arrested by the anti-graft court.
”Why not,” Trillanes answered when asked if he will also visit Enrile.
In the past, Enrile and Trillanes clashed over sensitive issues including the territorial claims between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea.
Trillanes encouraged his other colleagues to also visit their detained colleagues at the Camp Crame.
”We’re all part of this collegial body. All of us senators should visit in our own time,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes said Estrada visited him when the former Navy officer was detained from 2004 to 2010 for spearheading military uprisings against the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Trillanes advised Revilla and Estrada to be strong and use the unfortunate experience to reflect and become a better person.
”They will have to use this opportunity to reflect in their lives and their future as public servant and I’m sure after doing that, they will become a better person,” Trillanes said.
Last Monday, Senate Majority Leader Alan Cayetano said he will also support house or hospital arrest for Enrile due to the latter’s advanced aged.