Palace leaves SC to rule on Enrile house arrest bid

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Detained Senator Juan Ponce Enrile

(CNN Philippines) – Malacañan on Thursday (February 26) said it would leave the Supreme Court to decide whether they would allow the request of detained Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile to be put under house arrest due to poor health and old age.

his In a media  briefing, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the granting of Enrile's request is up to the decision of the court, adding the government will just respond when the time comes.

Enrile's legal team had reportedly manifested their client's intent for house arrest before the court, citing his old age and medical condition.

Malacañan's reaction came following reports that the 91-year-old was rushed to the Makati Medical Center (MMC) early Thursday morning for pneumonia.

According to Chief Insp. Raymond Santos, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital in Camp Crame where Enrile is detained, the senator was taken to MMC around 3:00 a.m. to have more tests due to coughing with blood.

Enrile, along with two other senators — Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. — are locked up in Camp Crame for plunder charges due to alleged misuse of their respective priority development assistance fund (PDAF) allocations through fake non-government organizations (NGOs) of controversial businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

According to the investigation of the Office of the Ombudsman, Enrile allegedly plundered P172 million while Revilla got the biggest kickbacks from the so-called pork barrel scam amounting to P224 million followed by Estrada who allegedly pocketed P183 million.

The P10-billion scam has led to the abolition of the PDAF where a senator is entitled to P200-million allotment and a congressman to P70 million each year.