Enrile’s poor health, old age justify his release on bail–SC
An associate justice of the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday explained that the current physical state of detained Senator Juan Ponce Enrile is enough justification for granting his release on bail.
In a 16-page decision written by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, the high court said allowing Enrile’s provisional liberty on bail will allow him to properly seek medical attention in the hospital of his choice.
“This will not only aid in his adequate preparation of his defense but, more importantly, will guarantee his appearance in court for trial,” the high court said.
The high court said the very principal purpose of bail is to guarantee the appearance of the accused at the trial or whenever required by the court. Such purpose, according to the high court has been “arbitrarily ignored” by the Sandiganbayan.
“The Sandiganbayan…unwarrantedly disregarded the clear showing of the fragile health and advance age of Enrile. As such, the Sandiganbayan gravely abused its discretion in denying Enrile’s Motion to Fix Bail,” the high court said, adding that the Senator’s health is a “compelling justification for his admission to bail.”
According to Dr. Jose C. Gonzales, director of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in his testimony before the Sandiganbayan, Enrile is suffering from chronic hypertension with fluctuating blood pressure levels, diffuse atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, irregular heartbeat, asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome.
“Denying him bail despite imperiling his health and life would not serve the true objective of preventive incarceration during the trial,” the high court said.
Enrile went to the Supreme Court after the Sandiganbayan, on July 14, 2014 and Aug. 8, 2014 denied his bid to post bail.
The high court also took note of Enrile’s disposition in facing the charges against him–when he was charged with plunder and when he was charged previously charged with rebellion with murder and frustrated murder in 1990.
“His personal disposition from the onset of his indictment for plunder, formal or otherwise, has demonstrated his utter respect for the legal processes of this country,” the high court said, adding that Enrile displayed the same attitude when he was charged with rebellion with murder and frustrated murder where the court also granted him temporary liberty on bail.
“With his solid reputation in both his public and his private lives, his long years of public service and history’s judgment of him being at stake, he should be granted bail,” the high court added. IDL
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.