MANILA, March 7, 2015—A Church official has expressed support for the proposal which aims to put the sick and old Senator Juan Ponce Enrile under house arrest, stressing it is an act of mercy.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz believes that while the veteran legislator has yet to answer for the plunder cases filed against him, his situation begs for humanitarian consideration given that he is already past 90 and suffers from age-related illness, Church-run Radyo Veritas reported.
Besides Enrile, the Catholic prelate had previously backed the initiative extending the same treatment to former President, now Pampanga 2nd District Representative, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who, however, is still detained at the Veterans’ Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City.
Enrile is currently confined at the Makati Medical Center due to pneumonia.
Colleagues from the Upper House led by Senator Vicente Sotto III have urged the filing of a resolution pushing for Enrile’s house arrest.
The elderly lawmaker from Cagayan who is now 91 years old, faces plunder charges at the Sandiganbayan along with fellow co-accused solons, Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., for allegedly giving money to “phony” non-government organizations (NGOs) owned by Janet Lim Napoles.
In her Dec. 2013 privilege speech, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago linked the senior lawmaker to various crimes including smuggling, illegal logging, and gambling in the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), besides plunder.
He was also pinpointed as allegedly responsible for the “disappearances” and deaths of thousands of activists and opposition leaders during the Martial Law years, when he served as defense minister for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos from 1972 to 1986. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)