MANILA, July 7 (Mabuhay) – The Philippine National Police on Monday maintained it did not run afoul of the Sandiganbayan when it brought Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile to an eye clinic in Makati City last weekend for a procedure and checkup.
PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac said Enrile was not yet in the custody of the Sandiganbayan at the time he was brought to the clinic, radio dzBB’s Tuesday Niu reported.
Instead, Sindac said Enrile was still in the custody of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, which last weekend had yet to return the warrant issued by the anti-graft court for his arrest.
The Sandiganbayan’s Third Division said it was “premature” to say if there was any violation in Enrile’s visits to the eye hospital.
Enrile and his co-accused are alleged to have amassed P172.8 million in kickbacks from 2004 to 2010 through nongovernment organizations put up by trader Janet Lim-Napoles.
He faces one count of plunder and 15 counts of graft.
Earlier Monday, the Sandiganbayan issued warrants of arrest versus Enrile and 25 others in connection with their multiple graft cases.
Enrile has been staying at the PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame since he surrendered there last Friday.
On Saturday, he was brought to an eye clinic in Makati City for a procedure that sought to address macular degeneration – a condition that could lead to blindness if left untreated.
He was again brought to the clinic on Sunday for a post-operative checkup.
Sindac said that during the weekend, Enrile was considered in transit and under the custody of the CIDG.
Thus, he said allowing him to see a doctor did not need the anti-graft court’s go-signal.
Enrile was ordered arrested last Friday on graft and plunder charges stemming from the P10-billion pork barrel scam. (MNS)