Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago opposes the idea of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile being on house arrest. “Although people are by nature unequal, the law must treat them equally,” the senator said on a press conference in the Senate on Thursday, as quoted by Inquirer.net.
Senator Santiago pointed out that Gloria Arroyo, who is a former Philippine President was placed on hospital arrest, while Enrile who is only a former Senate President might be granted house arrest.
“What about age? Are we going to take it into consideration? How many people of his age have died in jail waiting for their appeals to be decided? Why are you making an exemption for him?” Santiago said, apparently referring to 91-year-old Enrile, who was rushed to the Makati Medical Center last February 26 due to pneumonia.
“If you allow this, lahat na lang ng matatanda sa preso sa kulungan magki-claim din silang may pneumonia sila. There will be an epidemic of pneumonia,” Senator Santiago added.
“If we want persons of that age to stay out of jail let’s have a law, that’s the procedure. So don’t ask for an exemption for one person in a democracy. You ask for a law that will make it possible to attain certain conditions for everybody who falls under the requirements of the law. That is due process of law,” Santiago expounded.