House Speaker backs hospital arrest for Arroyo-A A +A
By Max Sangil
Friday, October 5, 2012
HOUSE Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said detained former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should stay under hospital arrest because of her frail medical condition.
On Thursday afternoon, the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group served the Sandiganbayan-issued arrest warrant on Arroyo, who was being examined at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) due to "generalized body weakness, numbness of hands and dehydration."
The arrest warrant stemmed from a plunder complaint over the alleged misuse of P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds.
"I think that's exactly where she should be kept because she has really become frail," said Belmonte, who used to be allied with Arroyo's Lakas-Kampi-CMD before he transferred to the Liberal Party in 2010.
"I myself would not want her anywhere else except in the Veterans where medical assistance is readily available," he added.
In a September 20 post in her Twitter account, @gmarroyo, the former President complained of "shooting pain in the shoulder near the neck, not to mention the old chronic pain."
Arroyo continues to attend her thrice-a-week physical therapy at the VMMC since she was granted by a Pasay City court in July to post a P1-million bail for her temporary release.
She had previously been under hospital detention at the same government hospital over a separate electoral sabotage case.
The arrest warrant served to Arroyo over a plunder complaint, however, is non-bailable.
Belmonte said while she sympathizes with the former President, "the wheel of justice has to move on."
"Of course, I sympathize with her but I also believe that the process of justice and of the court should go on," he added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)