MANILA– Malacanang will leave to the discretion of the court the request of detained Senator Juan Ponce Enrile for house arrest due to his health condition and age, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Thursday said.
”The granting of that request is up to the decision of the court,” Coloma said in a press briefing in Malacanang.
Coloma said the government would just respond based on the court decision.
The lawyers of Enrile had reportedly expressed manifestation before the Supreme Court (SC) for house arrest, citing his age and medical condition.
Enrile, 91, was reportedly rushed to the Makati Medical Center early Thursday for pneumonia.
Detained at the Philippine National Police General Hospital in Camp Crame, Enrile is facing plunder charges for allegedly misusing his priority development assistance fund (PDAF).
Two other senators, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., are also detained at the Camp Crame also for the alleged pocketing kickbacks from their respective PDAF allocation through fake non-government organizations (NGOs) of controversial businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
According to the investigation of the Office of the Ombudsman, Enrile allegedly plundered Php 172 million while Revilla got the biggest kickbacks from the so-called pork barrel scam amounting to Php 224 million followed by Estrada who allegedly pocketed Php 183 million.
The Php10-billion pork barrel scam has lead to the abolition of the PDAF where a senator is entitled to Php 200-million allotment and a congressman to Php 70 million each year.