Arroyo wants longer hospital visiting hours on birthday

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


THE camp of detained former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo might just ask the court for longer hospital visiting hours on April 5 after the Sandiganbayan junked her appeal for a three-day birthday furlough.

Arroyo will be spending her 67th birthday at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City where she has been under hospital detention for a plunder charge filed against her in relation to the suspected misuse of P366-million in state lottery funds during her incumbency.

She marked her 66th birthday at same hospital last year.

The Sandiganbayan First Division last Friday junked her motion for a three-day birthday furlough to allow her to celebrate her special day with her family and constituents in her hometown Lubao, Pampanga.

Although saddened by the latest development, Arroyo's counsel Modesto Ticman Jr. said the Pampanga lawmaker respects the court's decision.

"We'll just have to respect the decision. Actually, dinamndam niya (Arroyo), in the sense na hindi naman ganoon ka unreasonable yung hinihiling," said Ticman, citing doctor's testimony during the motion's hearing that a birthday furlough, which will allow the former leader to spend time with her family and friends, will be good for her health.

Ticman said that they "might not appeal and no longer pursue it if that's really the decision."

The lawyer said his client is considering instead of asking the court for longer hospital visiting hours on April 5 and 6 much like what was asked for and granted by the Sandiganbayan last Christmas and New Year.

Since visiting hours at the VMMC are only up to 9 p.m., Arroyo's camp is mulling to request for an extension of up to midnight since both days fall on a weekend.

Ticman said a list of visitors will have to be submitted and approved by the Sandiganbayan as required by the rules, which "we will be complying with."

Aside from Arroyo, several other former officials are facing malversation and plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan in relation to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds misuse. (Sunnex)

Local news

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