‘Don’t look at us,’ PNP says amid demands for Imelda’s arrest

Published November 13, 2018, 3:56 PM

by Patrick Garcia


By Aaron Recuenco

Amid calls for the immediate arrest of former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte rep. Imelda Marcos, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday it could not do so in the absence of the arrest warrant coming from the Sandiganbayan which convicted her on multi-million dollar graft cases.

Philippine National Police Spokesperson Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr. (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine National Police Spokesperson Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr.
(Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)

The conviction for seven counts of graft was promulgated last week but, up to this time, PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr. said no arrest warrant has been forwarded to the police.

“We cannot arrest anybody without the warrant of arrest. We are the nation of the laws, not of men. We cannot arrest the person just for the say so on somebody. We operate within the bounds of the law,” said Durana.

And even if an arrest warrant was issued, Durana said the charges to which Marcos were convicted were bailable.

“We heard that Assistant Prosecutor Quilala even hinted that Rep. Marcos may apply for bail because the offense is bailable and he said that she can still pursue legal recourse by filing motion for reconsideration. So this conviction is not yet final and executory so there are still legal recourse,” said Durana.

The PNP has been criticized in social media with allegations of double standard in dealing with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Marcos.

Netizens commented that, in the case of Trillanes, police were already posted at the Senate even when an arrest warrant was yet to be issued against the senator, and yet they are nowhere to be found when Marcos’ conviction was announced.

PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde earlier said that the policemen present at the Senate before were cops who were actually deployed to secure the Senate premises.

Albayalde was further criticized after he was quoted as saying that age and health factors should be considered in arresting Marcos.

But Durana clarified Tuesday that the Chief PNP may have been misquoted, and that his statement may have been misinterpreted.

“I think they’ve taken the statement of the chief PNP out of context because what he said was that ‘we have to consider the age and the health of the Rep. Marcos in the manner we prepare and execute the arrest of the convicted person’. Hindi yung age at health are factors whether to arrest or not. Parang mali ata, parang ini-slant ng iba,” said Durana.

“I am not saying it’s the media but those who just read one paragraph but did not read through the entire text of article. What the Chief PNP meant is that the age and health of Rep. Marcos should be considered in the manner we assess her flight risk or we assess the manner we will prepare and execute the arrest but not factors that will hinder us from arresting her the moment we received the warrant of arrest,” Durana clarified.

He said that the PNP will be ready to implement the arrest warrant, even as he emphasized that Albayalde may have only been misquoted.

“It’s unfair for the part of chief PNP because he was taken out of context,” said Durana.