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Clinton wished GMA good health, due process during detention

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Former US president Bill Clinton had written former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she was under hospital arrest, wishing her good health and that her legal troubles be over soon.

In a letter written three years ago but released only now, Clinton apologized for not being able to respond immediately to Arroyo’s letter, informing that she would not be able to accept his invitation to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in the US as she had been incarcerated.

“I’m sorry to hear that you have been going through such a difficult time,” Clinton said in his letter dated Jan. 25, 2013.

“I hope you’ve been able to take care of your health and aren’t in too much discomfort and that the due process of law will prevail,” he said.

Clinton asked Arroyo not to lose hope and that he will be keeping her in his thoughts.

The letter was signed “Bill” and had a handwritten footnote “I’m so sorry.”

Arroyo and Clinton were classmates at Georgetown University, a prestigious Catholic institution in Washington.

A staff of Arroyo said the letter could not be made public at the time she was detained as the Aquino administration restricted her communication and access to journalists. 

Arroyo was released from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on July 21 after four years of detention following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of her plunder case in connection with the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds.

She is suffering from a degenerative bone disease afflicting her spine.

The Sandiganbayan has allowed Arroyo to travel to Germany and France from Sept. 19 to Oct. 3 for a medical checkup.

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