Government lawyers oppose hospital arrest for Enrile
MANILA, Philippines–State prosecutors are opposing a recommendation of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) director that detained Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile be allowed to remain in the police hospital at Camp Crame.
In a comment that it filed in the Sandiganbayan Third Division, the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) argued that there was no urgent reason for the court to grant Enrile’s request for hospital arrest, despite his medical condition.
It said allowing Enrile to stay in the Philippine National Police General Hospital was tantamount to giving preferential treatment to one of the primary accused in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
At a hearing last Sept. 4, Dr. Jose Gonzales, the PGH director, told the antigraft court that Enrile’s condition warranted his continued stay in a medical facility.
Gonzales made the conclusion after conducting a series of medical examinations on the frail, 90-year-old senator as ordered by the court.
But the OSP said there was “neither urgent necessity nor life-threatening condition” that would justify Enrile’s being allowed to be detained in a hospital.
The prosecution disagrees with Gonzales’ recommendation, the OSP said in a comment dated Sept. 8, a copy of which was obtained by the Inquirer.
“His condition, as admitted by Dr. Gonzales, is manageable and in fact controlled by maintenance medications taken regularly by accused Enrile,” it said.
The state prosecutors said Enrile’s condition was “not so special that would warrant a hospital arrest or confinement pending litigation.”
“Thus, to approve and agree with the recommendation of Dr. Gonzales will allow a special treatment extended to accused Enrile. It will put him in a better position from the other detention prisoners who are also suffering the same or even worse condition (than him),” they said.
In his petition for bail, Enrile said he had been diagnosed with several illnesses such as macular degeneration, an eye condition that could lead to blindness.
He said he was also suffering from dyslipidemia, heart ailment, chronic hypertension, elevated blood-fasting sugar, anemia and diabetes.
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