THE grieving family of former President and now Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has asked for prayers and privacy in the aftermath of the death of the one-year-old grandson of the country’s former leader, Jorge Alonso “Jugo” Arroyo-Bernas, due to a congenital heart ailment.
The 13-month-old baby was the youngest son of Mrs. Arroyo’s daughter, Luli Arroyo-Bernas. Jugo died at the Philippine Heart Center around 9:30 on Sunday morning, the day that he was supposed to pay a visit to his grandmother at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), where she has been detained for almost four years.
“President Arroyo received the crushing news of Jugo’s death while she was waiting for him to arrive at the [VMMC] yesterday [Sunday] morning,” her three-page motion read.
Lawyer Jose Miguel Arroyo, the husband of the former president, posted on his Facebook page: “To those who condoled with us, thank you very much. Please say a prayer for Jugo Arroyo-Bernas.”
“Thank you for the kind messages and for condoling with us. We ask for privacy for the family at this time,” Luli, who is known for being fiercely protective of her family’s privacy, said in a separate statement.
Mrs. Arroyo already asked the Sandiganbayan for a nine-day house arrest to attend the wake and funeral of her grandson. She has been under hospital detention since 2011 because of plunder charges leveled against her in connection with the state charity unit’s intelligence fund.
The last time that she was granted a furlough by the Sandiganbayan was when her brother-in-law, Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo of Negros Occidental, died in London due to a lingering liver ailment.
At the time, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan gave her a two-day furlough, which she spent on attending the first and last days of Iggy’s wake in her La Vista residence.
Based on her pleading filed on Monday morning, the wake will be held at No. 62 Cambridge Circle, North Forbes Park, in Makati City (Metro Manila).
Mrs. Arroyo requested to be placed under house arrest from November 3 to November 12 at her residence at No. 14 Badjao Street, La Vista Subdivision in Quezon City.
In persuading the court, she said she is not a flight risk and has no intention of fleeing. “She only wishes to be with her grandson and family at this hour of terrible personal tragedy,” her lawyers wrote.
Mrs. Arroyo promised that she would inform the court as soon as the family arrived at a decision on the time and place of the burial.