President Benigno Aquino 3rd will not be joining the line of visitors to the hospital suite of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Malacañang on Thursday said a visit would not be a priority for the President, saying the reason why Arroyo is detained is a matter that is entirely up to the courts.
“Ang hukuman ang may pagpasya hinggil sa kanyang kasalukuyang sitwasyon. May ‘separation of powers’ sa ating sistema ng gobyerno [The courts have the final say on her case. Our system of government observes separation of powers],” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message.
Coloma was asked about the possibility of a visit to the former leader at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City where she has been held for more than two years.
Arroyo, now serving her second term as Pampanga congresswoman, has been charged with plunder for alleged misuse of P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office intelligence funds. She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Malacanang earlier said it welcomed the Supreme Court (SC) decision allowing Arroyo to spend Christmas and New Year in her house also in Quezon City.
In a full-court resolution, the SC granted “Christmas and New Year furloughs for the inclusive periods of 8 in the morning of December 23, 2015, to 5 in the afternoon of December 26, 2015, and for 8 in the morning of December 30, 2015 to 5 p.m. of January 2, 2016, to be spent exclusively at her residence at No. 14 Badjao Street, La Vista Subdivision, Quezon City.”
“It is understood that notwithstanding the furloughs, the petitioner [Mrs. Arroyo] shall remain under preventive custody of the law,” it said.