GMA gets furlough, spends Christmas with family
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - December 23, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is now at home to spend Christmas with her family, friends and  loved ones.

The former president left the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) early yesterday morning after the Supreme Court granted her request for a furlough from Dec. 23 to 26 and from Dec. 30 to Jan. 2.

Arroyo, described as “no longer what she once was” and a woman who has grown “very thin,” was brought to her house at La Vista Subdivision in Quezon City.

Former first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo was among those who fetched her from the hospital where she has been detained because of a plunder case involving the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds.

“I am happy for the former president. She deserves to spend Christmas with her family in the quiet of her home,” Laurence Hector Arroyo, one of her lawyers, told The STAR. “She is ill and has never been a flight risk. She should not be treated as if she is already guilty. I am grateful to the Supreme Court.”

The former president elevated her case to the Supreme Court after the Sandiganbayan denied her petition for bail and demurer to evidence. The High Court has issued a status quo ante order that stops all proceedings while it is studying her claims.

Jerry Pelayo, a close friend and former Candaba mayor, said the former president’s health continues to worsen and that she is in constant pain. He also accompanied Arroyo yesterday.

Describing his previous visit to the hospital, Pelayo recalled “at that time, I visited her early in the morning. When I heard the cry, I was startled and I asked the nurse what was that, and she said it was ‘ma’am (Arroyo)’.”

The nurse reportedly added that the cry was a daily occurrence and that Arroyo needed to be helped to get up from bed every morning.

“She is no longer what she once was. She is very thin now and all her dresses now hang loosely on her,” Pelayo said.

The former president was met at the door by her children Juan Miguel and Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Arroyo and her grandchildren. After hugging her children and grandchildren, she immediately asked if there was a Christmas tree put up. After seeing it in place, she checked if the garden was tended before taking breakfast with her family and friends.

“It was hard for her to hold her fork but she’s a fighter and she didn’t want to show us that she was having difficulty eating,” Pelayo said.

After breakfast, a thanksgiving mass was held in her house.

Pelayo appealed to the Sandiganbayan and the Supreme Court to allow her to seek treatment abroad. – With Paolo Romero

 

    

ACIRC ARROYO DIOSDADO ARROYO FORMER GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO HIGH COURT JERRY PELAYO JOSE MIGUEL ARROYO JUAN MIGUEL AND CAMARINES SUR REP PELAYO SUPREME COURT
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with