• Arroyo undecided on furlough request


    With just days before Christmas, detained former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is still deciding whether to request for a furlough from the Sandiganbayan.

    “She is yet to make a decision. We know of the clamor from some lawmakers, but I would say we are afraid to ask for a Christmas furlough [this time]because our request for such last year was denied,” Anacleto Diaz, the lawyer for Arroyo in her P366-million plunder case, told The Manila Times in a phone interview.

    At least 42 congressmen are calling on the anti-graft court to allow Arroyo to be released from detention during the holidays.

    Arroyo is a member of the House, representing Pampanga province.

    “We don’t want to suffer another setback, but I am yet to be given instructions on this. She is still looking at the merits of the furlough and she still has to talk to her family,” Diaz said.

    But even without a petition from Arroyo, it is within Sandiganbayan’s power to grant her a Christmas furlough, Diaz said.

    The court “can grant her furlough, even without a motion, if it deems such action would conform to justice, equity and fairness. This is because our courts are not only courts of law, but courts of equity as well,” he said.

    1-BAP Rep. Silvestre Bello 3rd, author of the House Resolution appealing to the Sandiganbayan to grant a furlough to Arroyo, agreed with Diaz.

    “The court can motu propio grant her furlough, even without a motion from the accused and a House Resolution, if they feel that her detention is prejudicial to and would compromise her health,” Bello told The Times in a separate phone interview.

    “The court should not consider popularity when it decides on cases. It should be based on merits of the case. I am appealing to the court to grant her furlough because she is not a flight risk, she is sick, there is a Hold Departure Order against her. How can she leave? She was a president for 10 years, a former vice president and a former senator. Where would she hide?” Bello said.

    Bello, who was a Justice secretary in the Arroyo administration, said he recently saw the former president while playing golf at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

    Arroyo is under hospital detention at Veterans Memorial.

    “I talked to her only in passing, for five minutes at most. We exchanged pleasantries. She wasn’t talking very much. She looks ill and she has gone really thin since the last time I saw her during the campaign period in 2010,” Bello said, referring to the 2010 presidential elections where he ran for the Senate under the Arroyo administration ticket but lost.

    Former Quezon province congressman Danilo Suarez, a partymate of the former President under Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats, shared Bello’s sentiments.

    “The Palace said it is with the court, and that’s as good as saying no. She is a woman, elderly, sick and has been detained for quite some time. We are appealing to their sense of compassion,” Suarez said.


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    1. wilmer andrada on

      If she is so sick, why does Congress replace her since she cannot do her duties as a representative of her constituent.If she is so sick, can she just be tried in absentia and let her lawyers represent her as long as all the evidence are out and ready to be examined?If she is qualified for a medical furlough, she should also be able to attend all this court trials using a neck brace..Our Justice system really amazes me. It is so politicized,too much red tape and bureaucracy,the speed of getting results is slower than turtles, even on high profile cases.The system need reforms and a thorough housecleaning.

    2. I don’t know for some people always put in their mind that anything happened in the Philippines now, they considered it a sign of “bad karma” to Nguyngoy and his govenment.
      Pero kitang kita at alam naman ng lahat na ang dumadanas ng hirap at pighati ay ang mga dumadanas ar biktima ng calamidad etc,. ay ang taong bayan. Samantala at namumuno sa bansa ay laging nakangisi at kadalasan naninisi muna bago isipin ang kaniyang kakulangan.
      Kaya kung ina-akala ng lahat na ang ganiton uri ng namumuno at pamumuno sa bansa ay matigil at mawala ay nararapat lamang kumilos na ang taong bayan. Kung hindi ay magtiis ng tatlong taon pa at manatiling nakaNGANGAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!!

    3. curious if 1 is so sick and they are in the hospital. why is it she still has a congressional seat? if she is so sick she should be removed from office as she cant govern

    4. Abnoy has no compassion for PGMA because mamas boy believes the former president disrespected his meddling santa-kuno mother. This is persecution aided by his DOJ stooge de Lima and corrupt congress. He and his cronies will get their justice. It has begun. What goes around indeed comes around.

    5. Franklin gujol on

      No special treatment for somebody who has caused so much trouble for the country now and God knows how long the effects will still go on. She needs every minute of what’s left of her life to reflect on her sins to the people.

      • Olivia Salvacion on

        Hoy gujol, mukhang sinless ka. You have so much hatred in your heart. While am no follower of Gloria but for humanitarian reason she should be freed, wala pa naming napapatunayan. What goes around comes around and in less than 3 years it will be Pinoy who will be I jail.

    6. Isn’t it amazing? The Philippines is the only country where a former senator, a former vice-president, and a former full-term president, is held under restrictive conditions even when the person’s case has not yet been concluded. Does this mean that this individual has had a total of zero accomplishments for the country since the time this person began public service? Is the public’s short-term memory along with the relentless and constant bashing by the head of the country make this person an evil larger than what this person really is? Comparatively, how different is person’s case from the government officials who are currently accused in the PDAF and DAP scandals? Why are all of them not suffering the same restrictive conditions? This is a blatant example of unequal (selective) treatment under the law.

    7. Kayo ang Boss Ko! on

      Do not ask for compassion; this administration must be thinking that they are perfect without blemish! They do not have any consideration to a sick person. What a person sow they will reap someday. Arroyo might be reaping these days. Who is not going to someday?