Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo can spend her birthday with her family this year, but in detention.
The Sandiganbayan First Division on Wednesday granted Arroyo’s motion to allow her immediate family to stay with her for three days this week.
“For humanitarian considerations, and there being no objection [or]opposition from the prosecution, the court hereby grants the said motion,” the one-page resolution read.
Arroyo will turn 67 on April 5.
On Monday, she filed an urgent motion asking the court to allow her family entry to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) after the Sandiganbayan denied her request for a three-day furlough so that she can travel to Pampanga.
Since 2011, Arroyo has been under hospital arrest at the VMMC for electoral sabotage.
The court’s first division, which is hearing her plunder case in connection with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) fund scam, also directed Arroyo to submit the list of immediate family members to the Police Security and Protection Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP-PSPG) a day before her birthday.
They will be allowed to stay at the VMMC from April 4 to 6.
Malacañang refused to comment on the Sandiganbayan decision but sent Arroyo an advanced birthday greeting.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Palace wished the former president “happiness” on her birthday.
“We are greeting her on her birthday and we hope it will be a happy occasion with her loved ones,” Coloma told reporters.