Santiago tags Enrile as ‘drama king’ in bid for hospital arrest

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

DESCRIBING Senate Minority Leader Juan Enrile as "drama king", Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said the 90-year-old legislator who is facing possible arrest over plunder and graft charges in connection with the pork barrel fund scam should not be given a special accommodation.

"Kapag pinayagan si Mr. E (Enrile) sa kanyang mga kahilingan dapat lahat ng matatandang nakakulong ay bigyan din ng parehong treatment. Dapat pantay pantay ang batas at pagpapatupad nito," said Santiago as she explained that old age is not a reason for Enrile to be given such privilege.

"Gusto niya mag pa special treatment pa siya. Tumigil na nga siya. Arte lang yan. Old age lang yan pero wala naman siyang illness. Tingnan niyo nga at ang lakas lakas pa niyan," she said.

Santiago said any VIP treatment for detention prisoner is against the law as she cited the equal protection clause of the 1987 Constitution.

She also hit Senator Ramon Bong Revilla and Senator Jose Jinggoy Estrada for complaining about the condition of their detention cells in the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

"Bakit ganuon. We are always saying kawawa naman ang mga ito dahil maraming daga pati na rin ang mga ipis. Did you ever ask the rats and the cockroaches how they feel?" Santiago said.

(Video by Al Padilla/Sunnex)

Enrile, Revilla and Estrada are facing graft and plunder before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly amassing kickbacks from their Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations using the fake non-government organizations of alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Napoles.

Meanwhile, Santiago also hit those senators who were beneficiaries of controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds.

"They are all guilty because the Supreme Court declared DAP unconstitutional," she said.

Santiago said those senators must be investigated on the allegations that they received bribes to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial in 2012.

According to reports, almost all of the senators who voted to convict Corona received additional funds, supposedly from the DAP, shortly after the trial.

Voting 20-3, the Senate sitting as impeachment court convicted Corona for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.

The impeachment court ruled that Corona was guilty of Article II of the impeachment complaint. The Chief Justice did not fully disclose his assets in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

Santiago said the Commission on Audit must take the lead in conducting the investigation.

Santiago who did not vote to convict Corona said the bribery issue using DAP funds should be tackled the soonest time.

"Both the pork barrel and DAP scandal are equally repulsive, and the SC declared both funds as unconstitutional," she said.

"It is illegal for the Budget department to discriminate among senators. While all other senators received an average of P50 million in DAP funds, reportedly three senators got P100 million each. They are Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Francis Escudero," she added.

Santiago said only then Senators Joker Arroyo, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and herself did not vote against the impeachment and did not receive additional funds from the DAP. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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