MANILA – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila M. De Lima is worrying on the possible effect of the Supreme Court’s (SC) grant of bail to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile on the petition for bail of former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The petition of Mrs. Arroyo, questioning the dismissal by the Sandiganbayan of her petition for bail for the case of plunder in connection with her involvement in the alleged misuse of PhP366 million in intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) from 2008 to 2010, is pending before the SC.
Mrs. Arroyo, 68, is under “hospital arrest” at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City.
According to De Lima, she is not sure whether Mrs. Arroyo can also use her age as basis for the grant of bail. However, her health condition is not “far-fetched” to be a consideration.
If ever the SC grants the petition for bail of the former president, De Lima said, it would be “unprecedented” or an important decision that has not been granted to similar cases in court.
If it happens, she added, the decision to be rendered would be “dangerous” because it is not “far-fetched” that the SC would be deluged with petitions for bail, the basis of which is health condition.
De Lima stressed that under the law, the only requisite in the grant of bail to non-bailable offenses is if the evidence is weak.