Arroyo should be moved to regular jail when she’s well–Comelec chief
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Friday he agreed with the Pasay City regional trial court’s decision to transfer former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
But Arroyo, under arrest on a charge of electoral sabotage, should be moved to a regular jail in the Southern Police District headquarters when she gets well enough, the Comelec chief added.
Her transfer to the VMMC “is okay with me,” Brillantes told reporters.
“It’s okay that she’ll be staying there temporarily — while she’s sick. But if she’s already well, she should be moved to the SPD detention center. They [Arroyo camp] are asking for house arrest but for us, instead of house arrest, it should be there at the SPD. For now, we have no problem with the VMMC. Anyway, its a government hospital.”
Asked what the “signal” would be for Arroyo’s discharge from the hospital, Brillantes replied, “If the government doctor says she’s already well, she has to be transferred to the SPD. We are agreeing temporarily only because she’s reportedly sick. If they insist on house arrest, we’ll also insist on [SPD] detention. It’s all up to the judge because it’s the court that will ultimately decide.”
The Comelec chief explained it was important that Ms Arroyo be detained in a government facility so that the state will have full control over her.
“The government has control over the detention of an arrested person, not a private hospital. The government doesn’t have control in private places. In a government facility, it would be easier to see her, unlike in a private place where she’s hiding and hiding, and you can’t speak to her without a subpoena,” he said.
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