THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday, November 13, clarified that Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos will be arrested despite her advanced age and frail health as soon as anti-graft court Sandiganbayan issues an order for her arrest.
PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr. said PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde was merely trying to say that Marcos is not a flight risk when he explained why no police officers have been sent to arrest her in anticipation of the court order.
“I think we’ve taken the statement of the Chief PNP out of context. Kasi he is saying that we have to consider the age and the health of Representative Marcos in the manner we prepare and execute the arrest of the convicted person. Hindi yang age and health ang factors to consider whether to arrest (Marcos) or not,” said Durana in a press conference in Camp Crame.
“Ang ibig sabihin ni Chief PNP the age and the health of Representative Marcos should be considered in the manner we assess her flight risk and the manner we will prepare and execute the arrest but (these are) not factors that will hinder us from effecting the arrest the moment we receive the warrant,” he added.
The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division on November 9 issued a verbal order for the former first lady's arrest after she was found guilty of seven counts of graft. A written order has yet to be issued.
Marcos, widow of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was sentenced to imprisonment of six years and one month up to 11 years for each count of graft.
Marcos critics have questioned the non-deployment of police officers to the former first lady's location upon her conviction, noting that police and military officers were immediately sent to the Senate upon the issuance of an arrest warrant against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
Durana reiterated that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) will immediately implement the arrest warrant once it is issued despite Marcos’ health condition and age.
“If ever that will come out, the CIDG was already tasked to effect the warrant of arrest,” he said.
“Pero ngayon, as we speak wala pang ini-issue ang court (But now, as we speak, the court has not issued anything),” he added. (SunStar Philippines)