Enrile rejects house arrest

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Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile (center) arrives at the Sandiganbayan in Quezon City on Friday, July 11, to attend his arraignment on graft and plunder charges in connection with the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam. He faces one count of plunder and 15 counts of graft. (MNS photo)

Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile (center) arrives at the Sandiganbayan in Quezon City on Friday, July 11, to attend his arraignment on graft and plunder charges in connection with the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam. He faces one count of plunder and 15 counts of graft. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Detained Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile is rejecting calls that he be placed under house arrest, saying he is ready to fight his accusers and prove his innocence in the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

Enrile’s son, former congressman Jack Enrile, said his father is in a “fighting mood” and wants to go back to detention in Camp Crame and work on his defense.

“We had a conversation yesterday about house arrest and he himself said he does not want it. He wants to go back and go through the process, face his accusers, face the charges before him, answer them before the Filipino public and clear his name. That’s what he wants,” he said.

“He may be advanced in age but he is still very, very sharp…This is the trial of his life and he has a few years to clear his name.”

Enrile and his co-accused are facing plunder and graft charges for allegedly pocketing P172.8 million in kickbacks from 2004 to 2010. Plunder is a non-bailable offense.

Enrile has denied the charges, saying it was his then chief of staff Atty. Jessica “Gigi” Reyes who signed the documents allocating his pork barrel allocations to non-government organizations of Janet Lim Napoles.

Last week, the former Senate President was rushed to the Makati Medical Center after contracting pneumonia.

The younger Enrile said his father’s condition is steadily improving and he may be discharged within a week.

“Infection is 50 percent of what it originally was…He was in good spirits, he was standing and walking about although not as strong as during his birthday.”

The younger Enrile said his father is grateful to friends and supporters who are thinking of what’s best for him by pushing for his house arrest.

Sen. Tito Sotto earlier said the Senate should pass a resolution backing house arrest for Enrile because of his old age and fragile health.

The younger Enrile, however, said his father does not want anything that could cast doubt on his innocence.

“He wants no doubt about his innocence and he doesn’t want the public to doubt the strength of his case,” he said.

One reason why Enrile wants to go back to Camp Crame immediately instead of stay in the hospital is because he can get some sun.

“He wants to go back. At least doon, nasisinagan siya ng araw. There are windows in his room where the sun can shine through. In Makati Med, it is all four walls,” he said. (MNS)

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