MANILA — The House independent bloc on Friday strongly urged the House committee on Justice to immediately adopt a resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives to place Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile under house arrest.
Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz said Enrile deserves house arrest because of his advanced age and failing health.
“We appeal for compassion to place Senate Minority Leader Enrile under house arrest out of health and humanitarian reasons. He remains innocent from the charges and there is a necessity for the House committee on justice to prioritize the adoption of the resolution because of health concerns,” said Romualdez, a lawyer and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).
For his part, de la Cruz said: “he deserves house arrest. He hasn’t been convicted and he is already old.”
Romualdez, co-authored of House Resolution 1959 “urging the Sandiganbayan to grant house arrest to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile for humanitarian considerations.”
This was principally sponsored by House Minority Leader and San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora with Isabela Rep. Rodolfo “Rodito” Albano III.
Enrile had been under hospital arrest at the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital in connection with the plunder charges he is facing before the Sandiganbayan.
Lately on February 26, 2015, the Senator was rushed to the Makati Medical Center because of pneumonia.
Zamora and Albano cited Senator Enrile’s advanced age and current state of health which would require certain medical procedures and facilities to ensure his continued well-being.
The lawmakers recalled that PNP Service spokesman, chief Inspector Raymond Santos, has admitted in news reports that the PNP General Hospital lacks the necessary facilities to properly address Senator Enrile’s current health condition.
The lawmakers are urging their colleagues to join them in a collective sense “by pleading for the mercy and compassion of the Sandiganbayan to grant house arrest to the former Senate President on “humanitarian grounds, pending the resolution of the plunder charges against him.”
HR 1959 has been referred to the House committee on Justice chaired by Iloilo Rep. Neil C. Tupas, Jr.