Albayalde: We will consider Imelda Marcos' 'age' in looming arrest
Kristine Joy Patag (philstar.com) - November 12, 2018 - 2:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police is taking into consideration the “old age” of Rep. Imelda Marcos (Ilocos Norte) in assessing whether they should send in advance their men for her impending arrest.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, PNP chief Oscar Albayalde said the police have yet to receive information on the arrest warrant against the Marcos matriarch.

Asked why they have yet to send their men to Marcos, Albayalde said they do not want to “speculate” on the decision, but he added that he had already told the head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to be ready if a warrant would be released.

But Albayalde said that when organizing for the possible arrest of the former first lady, they have to take into consideration her age and health.

“We have to take into consideration may edad na kasi. In any arrest or anybody for that matter, that has to be taken [into] consideration, the age, the health, alam naman natin na andyan siya,” he said.

“The former first lady is a very... hindi naman natin sabihin... baka magalit satin na matanda pero may edad na kasi,” the top cop added.

Last Friday, the Sandiganbayan’s 5th Division found Marcos guilty of seven counts of graft committed during the regime of her husband, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

In the anti-graft court’s decision, the Sandiganbayan ordered Marcos to serve six years and one day to 11 years in jail for each count of graft. The case was over seven bank transfers totaling $200 million to Swiss foundations during her term as Metro Manila governor.

However, the arrest warrant might not be executed immediately because Marcos could appeal the ruling, a prosecutor said.

“She can elevate it to the Supreme Court if she sees grave abuse of discretion in the Sandiganbayan’s decision. So this is not yet final and executory,” assistant special prosecutor Ryan Quilala told reporters, adding she can also file an application for bail.

Marcos, through her legal counsel, said that they would file a motion for reconsideration against the ruling.

READ: No special treatment for Imelda, says Albayalde

Double standards?

Asked about the absence of police in Marcos' case compared to the response when President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the arrest of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Albayalde clarified on Monday that cops were positioned at the Senate as they usually guard it.

“The Senate is being guarded by policemen talaga, not necessarily for Senator Trillanes,” he explained.

Last September, Duterte revoked the amnesty granted to his critic Trillanes. In Proclamation 572, the president had ordered the arrest of the senator despite an apparent lack of a court-issued warrant.

But Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang said that the PNP’s response on Marcos’ looming arrest greatly differs with their “rabid attack against elderly and sickly National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Vicente Ladlad.”

They pointed out police were “more than eager” to arrest Ladlad despite the latter’s age and health. The 69-year-old man is suffering from emphysema.

“This irony is enraging, indicative of where the PNP's loyalty lies. They are not protectors of the people, but a criminal syndicate that protects their fellow criminals,” CARMMA added.

“The police is blatantly and deliberately obstructing justice by refusing to arrest Marcos, and thus deepening the injustice felt by the victims of the Marcos family,” they also said.

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, in an earlier interview on Monday, said that the age of a convict might be an issue in the matter of commutation of sentence, but not on sentencing or conviction.

“Age should not be an obstacle to accountability. What matters really is when she committed the crime and that wasn’t when she was 83 years old but when she was in her 50s,” Diokno, son of a martial law victim, told ANC.

READ: Chel Diokno, son of Martial Law opposition leader, files COC at same time as dictator's daughter

“There should be jail time because there has to be... The people have to see that anyone can be held accountable whether rich or poor,” he added.

CHEL DIOKNO GRAFT IMELDA MARCOS OSCAR ALBAYALDE
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