By: Martin Sadongdong
Source: Manila Bulletin
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has remained firm in its stand not to apprehend former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte second district Representative Imelda Marcos without a warrant of arrest.
Chief Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr., PNP spokesperson, said an arrest warrant has yet to be issued by the concerned court pertaining to the conviction of Marcos. Besides, he added that Marcos has already posted a P150,000-bail for her temporary liberty.
“Nag-post na siya ng bail (She already posted a bail). We cannot just… we were criticized initially why we’re not arresting Representative Marcos. We cannot do that because wala po kaming (we don’t have a) warrant of arrest. We would violate the rights of the convicted person if we arrest her without a warrant,” Durana said.
Marcos, 89, was found guilty by the Sandiganbayan last November 9 of seven counts of graft for illegally funneling $200 million to Swiss foundations while serving as a government official from 1968 to 1986.
However, Durana explained that the anti-graft court’s decision was not yet final and executor, and Marcos can still avail herself of legal remedies.
“Even the Sandiganbayan communicated to the public, the media, that there are still legal recourses open to Representative Marcos. First, post bail, second is file a motion for reconsideration up to the Supreme Court,” Durana noted.
“The decision is not yet final and executory so bakit kami magmadali (why should we hurry) that even the court handling that is telling us it’s not yet final and executory because there are still legal recourses?” he asked.
The PNP spokesperson also asked for public understanding since they cannot act based only on the critics’ clamor to arrest Marcos, explaining that there are laws that should be followed before effecting an arrest.
“Ang trabaho namin (Our job) is damn if you do, damn if you don’t. We are respecting the rights of convicted person to legal recourse by not arresting kasi wala namang (because there is no) warrant of arrest,” he reiterated.
PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde previously instructed the Criminal Invetigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to implement the arrest warrant in case the Sandiganbayan issues one against Marcos.
He also said that the age and health of Marcos would be considered once she gets arrested.