Noy allies back GMA house arrest | The Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

Noy allies back GMA house arrest | The Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor.

Source: retrieved on April 28, 2015 from The Daily Tribune website

Written by Charlie V. Manalo
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 00:00

While President Aquino remains adamant in granting house arrest for former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as he continues to hide under the façade it is the call of the courts to extend such privilege to his predecessor, his partymates yesterday threw their support for the ailing former leader, coming out in the open as they call for the granting of a house arrest for Arroyo.

This came after her camp renewed its appeal to the Sandiganbayan to allow the former president to be placed under house arrest instead, citing her worsening medical condition.

Quezon City Representatives Jose Christopher Belmonte and Alfred Vargas said given Arroyo’s guarded state of health, she should be given a new environment that can help her recover.

Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas also revealed that the House committee on justice, which he heads, will prioritize a proposed resolution asking the anti-graft court to show compassion to Arroyo by granting her house arrest.

He said the committee hearing will be immediately conducted for the resolution that has continued to draw strong bipartisan backing.

“There is a resolution pending now with the committee on justice to express the sentiment of the House of Representatives on the matter. Based on our initial hearing last month, it seems that a lot of the members of the committee favor the resolution for humanitarian reasons,” Tupas stressed.

In her motion for house arrest filed before the Sandiganbayan First Division, Arroyo’s lawyers pointed out that the former president’s health has remained in the same condition when she was first arrested three years ago.

Arroyo has been under hospital arrest for three years now but a debilitating spine condition has not improved.

Asked to comment on Arroyo’s motion for house arrest, Vargas also cited humanitarian reasons for backing her appeal.

“She has illness that needs proper medication and attention” he said.

For his part, Belmonte explained that the motion is not without any judicial and actual precedent, citing the case of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada who was granted house arrest by Arroyo.

Estrada is among the political leaders who have asked Aquino not to oppose the house arrest petition.

“We should do the same for ordinary prisoners similarly situated. But this does not mean we will no longer have cases against them,” said Belmonte, nephew of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.

He added there is a long list of “ailing, fragile and old prisoners “ whose cases should be revisited.

LP spokesman and Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, however, echoed Aquino’s position on the matter, saying it is up to the court to decide on the motion.

Sen. Francis Escudero also yesterday expressed reservations over the feasibility of a proposal being pushed in the House to have Arroyo placed under house arrest and turn her La Vista residence into a “sub-jail.”

The lawmaker raised serious doubts whether it could take off especially since it would mean that her residence will effectively be owned by the government.
Angie M. Rosales

Published in Headlines | The Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

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