TWO lawmakers support the proposal that will pave the way for the construction of new detention centers for high profile personalities charged with plunder and graft in cases related to the pork barrel scam.

Ako Bicol Party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe and ACT-CIS party-list representative Samuel Pagdilao said it is high time to build separate cells for high profile respondents while their case is being tried by different courts of law.

"Respondents from the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) scam should be given separate detention cell while awaiting the final verdict of the court," Batocabe said.

He was referring to Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. who were accused of pocketing millions of pesos from their PDAF and Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged scam mastermind, who is now detained at Fort Santo Domingo in Laguna.

"All other co-accused may be considered high profile respondents and can join the exclusive detention cell," Batocabe said.

Pagdilao said he supports the proposal to avoid any friction between common criminals and high profile.

"They are still presumed innocent until proven guilty. Ikaw ba isasama mo ang gwapong si Senador Bong sa mga bilanggong maton? Baka ma rape yun," Pagdilao said.

He clarified that the high profile detention cell is just a separate cell like an ordinary cell with steel bars on it and no air-conditioned and other amenities.

Batocabe also said that "high profile cases shall include cases which have attracted attention and publicity by reason of the relative position of the parties in society, cases imbued with public interest, or cases which involve national security and safety."

They also describe detention prisoners as any person "accused for non-bailable offenses and are detained while awaiting investigation or trial."

Safekeeping was defined as an "act of providing inmates with basic necessities, ensuring that the inmates are completely incapacitated from communicating with their outside networks."

Batocabe added that high profile detention center should be maintained, secured, clean and adequately equipped for the custody and safekeeping of detainees.

Among the categories that an accused can be considered as high profile inmate must be slapped with non-bailable offenses except those accused under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; an incumbent or former public officials or appointees accused of non-bailable offenses or high profile case. (Sunnex)