MANILA — The House Committee on Justice has deferred voting over the proposal asking the Sandiganbayan to grant house arrest to Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (CGMA) for humanitarian considerations, Akbayan Party-list Rep. Barry Gutierrez said on Wednesday.
The decision to defer was undertaken over concerns that approving the resolution would send out an “ominous message to the people about how grossly inequitable our justice system works.”
Gutierrez said that approving the resolution [might] be viewed as “Congress bending over backwards to accommodate one of its own while turning a blind eye to others.”
“I appreciate our concern for CGMA but approving the resolution raises issue of fairness for other inmates,” Gutierrez explained.
“If we’re going to extend the privilege to government officials, we’ll be questioned why we’re not doing the same for other inmates,” he added.
Introduced by 1-BAP Party-list Rep. Silvestre H. Bello III, House Resolution 1908 was filed to urge the Sandiganbayan to grant house arrest to Mrs. Arroyo based on “humanitarian and medical grounds.”
According to the resolution, the medical condition of Mrs. Arroyo “has never improved and remained fragile” since her detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in 2012.