Sandiganbayan OKs Enrile's continued hospital arrest
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - September 26, 2014 - 2:11pm

MANILA, Philippines - Suspended Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, who is facing trial for alleged involvement in the pork barrel fund scam, has been granted hospital arrest.

The Sandiganbayan Third Division issued a ruling Friday, allowing the 90-year-old lawmaker to stay confined at the Philippine National Police General Hospital (PNPGH) inside Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Third Division clerk of court Dennis Pulma said the 16-page decision granted Enrile’s request for continued hospital stay considering his medical condition.

“Premises considered, accused Juan Ponce Enrile's motion for detention at the PNP General Hospital pending the resolution of his motion for bail is granted,” he announced quoting the ruling.

Pulma said the lawmaker, accused of pocketing over P183 million in rebates or commissions from his priority development assistance fund (PDAF) allocation by endorsing fake non-government organizations (NGOs) operated by Janet Lim Napoles, will remain in the hospital until otherwise ordered by the Sandiganbayan.

The ruling said Enrile will stay at the PNPGH “until he is determined by the doctors to be physically fit for detention at the proper Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility or until further orders from the court.”

Hospital of his own choice

Magistrates of the Third Division headed by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang with Associate Justices Samuel R. Martires and Alez Quiroz as members said the accused may also seek medical treatment in other hospitals if necessary.

Pulma said Enrile can be brought to another hospital in case of emergencies and if the required procedure is not available at the PNPGH.

The Sandiganbayan said the accused will have to shoulder all the medical expenses to be incurred during his hospital stay and when he seeks treatment in other medical facilities.

During hearings on Enrile’s motion for hospital arrest, doctors from the PNPGH and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) were in agreement that the lawmaker should be allowed to remain under hospital arrest.

Doctors were directed to assess his medical condition to help the Sandiganbayan decide on whether or not to grant his request.

Enrile, citing his age and medical problems, said his ailments including erratic blood pressure require him to take at least 19 medicines daily.

Ombudsman prosecutors tried to oppose the motion for hospital arrest but the Sandiganbayan eventually ruled in favor of the accused.

Enrile is one of the three senators facing plunder and graft charges before the Sandiganbayan.

Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada are currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center also inside Camp Crame. They have also been ordered suspended for 90 days.

ASSOCIATE JUSTICES SAMUEL R BUREAU OF JAIL MANAGEMENT AND PENOLOGY CAMP CRAME DENNIS PULMA ENRILE GENERAL HOSPITAL HOSPITAL JANET LIM NAPOLES JUAN PONCE ENRILE MAGISTRATES OF THE THIRD DIVISION SANDIGANBAYAN
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