THERE’S no point in comparing a young and healthy opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to an elderly and sickly former First Lady Imelda Marcos who is also not being considered as a flight risk.
This is what Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde had in mind when he said yesterday that the age and health of the widow of strongman Ferdinand Marcos would be considered if she would be arrested following her conviction last week.
“The former First Lady hindi naman natin siya... baka magalit sa atin ang matanda. May edad na kasi. Unang-una, we have to take into consideration the edad, ‘yung age... In any arrest, that has to be taken into consideration, ‘yung health, the age,” Gen. Albayalde told Camp Crame newsmen in a press briefing.
The PNP chief said that as of yesterday morning, they still have to be issued a formal notice to serve the warrant for the arrest of the ex-Ilocos Norte congresswoman but added he has ordered the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to form a team that would arrest her upon official orders.
“Unang-una as of this time, wala pa. Even advance coordination wala pa. We don’t want to be in advance or parang mag-speculate kami na ilalabas na ‘yung decision sa kaniya,” Gen. Albayalde said.
“We heard na ‘yung decision ilalabas today. Kung lalabas ‘yung warrant of arrest, it will be the CIDG. I’ve already told the director ng CIDG to lead kung kami talaga ‘yung mautusan na mag-aresto sa kaniya,” he added.
The PNP chief also said that the maximum-security PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame is ready if Marcos will be brought there. ”Kung talagang may kautusan ‘yung korte na dito talaga dadalhin sa amin, ‘yung facility naman namin is ready to accommodate the former First Lady. Palaging malinis ‘yan. We welcome anybody... We have custodial facilities that are ready to accommodate mga politicians,” he said.
The Marcos family said it will appeal the Sandiganbayan decision finding Mrs. Marcos guilty of graft in connection with her financial interests in Swiss-based foundations during her time as Minister of Human Settlements and interim member of Congress.
Mrs. Marcos, who did not attend the promulgation, was sentenced to a minimum of six years and one month to a maximum prison sentence of 11 years “for each count” of graft. She is also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.