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Comelec to seek regular jail for GMA

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will push for a regular detention facility for former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo once her doctors confirm that she could be moved to a regular jail.

According to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, they will block all attempts of Arroyo’s camp to keep her from going to a regular detention facility.

Brillantes explained the poll body only agreed to Arroyo’s hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center last December because she was still recovering from the three major surgeries that she underwent due to cervical spondylosis.

“Right from the start, we want her in a regular detention facility. We agreed to hospital arrest because she was sick,” he stressed.

Brillantes said when the Comelec gets the certification from Arroyo’s doctors, the agency would file a motion for her transfer to a regular detention facility with the Pasay City Regional Trial Court.

However, Brillantes admitted that it is up to the court to decide where to detain Arroyo,“(but) we will definitely oppose the motions (that they may file concerning this),” he said.

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Arroyo is facing electoral sabotage charges along with former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and former provincial election supervisor Lintang Bedol for alleged cheating in Maguindanao in the 2007 elections.

The Comelec is also studying if Arroyo will be included in similar cases concerning the rigging of poll results in South Cotabato and North Cotabato in 2007.

Recently, the Comelec filed a motion with the court that sought to compel Arroyo’s doctors to submit a medical report and a recommendation on whether or not she is fit to be discharged from the hospital.

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