Albayalde on Marcos’ arrest: We have to take into consideration her age
Police will consider the age and health of former first lady Imelda Marcos, who was recently convicted on seven counts of graft and ordered arrested by the Sadiganbayan, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Monday.
“Hindi naman natin sasabihin na matanda, baka magalit sa atin, pero may edad na kasi, unang-una we have to take into consideration the edad, the age,” Albayalde said of the widow of late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos during a press briefing at Camp Crame.
“In any arrest or anybody for that matter, that has to be taken into consideration, the health, the age, isa ‘yon, alam naman natin na nandyan siya,” he added.
Albayalde’s remarks were in response to criticisms that there were differences on how the PNP handled the case of Marcos and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, whose amnesty was revoked by Malacañang via Proclamation No. 572 in August.
Almost immediately, members of the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) surrounded the Senate to arrest Trillanes even if the courts have not yet released an arrest order against the senator.
Critics, however, noted a difference in the case of Mrs. Marcos, whose graft conviction was issued last Friday, November 9.
Trillanes is a known fierce critic of the Duterte administration while President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly shown his preference for the leadership style of Mrs. Marcos’ husband.
But Albayalde dismissed accusations that the police’s reaction on the Trillanes issue was an overkill reiterating that authorities are normally present near the Senate for security purposes.
“’Yung kay Senator Trillanes naman, it’s not meant na nandoon parang to harass na kaagad. It’s not. Actually, the Senate is being guarded by policemen, meron talaga tayong naka-duty doon na police, not necessarily for Senator Trillanes,” the PNP Chief said.
“It’s just a preemptive measure ‘yong sa kanya (Trillanes) in case na talagang lumabas. Ito naman kasi (Marcos) wala tayong nakikitang magiging problema sa kanya dahil unang-una, medyo may edad na, babae,” he added.
He also assured Mrs. Marcos would be given the same amount of respect they gave to Trillanes, adding that the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame is always ready and clean.
“We will accord the same respect, just like what we accorded to Senator Trillanes, just in case na talagang lalabas ‘yan (warrant of arrest),” Albayalde noted.
“Naka-handa lahat ‘yan, palaging malinis ‘yan, we welcome anybody na biglaang ganyan, we have custodial facilities that are always ready to accommodate itong mga politicians or other high-ranking officials of the government,” he said.
The Sandiganbayan on Friday found Mrs. Marcos guilty of funneling funds to Swiss foundations she and her husband created while holding various government positions during Ferdinand Marcos’ reign.
The anti-graft court sentenced Mrs. Marcos to imprisonment of six years and one month to 11 years for each count of graft and perpetually barred her from holding public office.
Mrs. Marcos was also ordered arrested but a graft charge is bailable under the law.
The camp of Mrs. Marcos said they will file a motion for reconsideration on the graft conviction. /kga
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