Sandiganbayan denies Arroyo birthday furlough

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Friday, March 14, 2014

THE Sandiganbayan First Division junked Friday afternoon the three-day birthday furlough of Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a decision signed by First Division Presiding Judge Efren dela Cruz, and Justices Rodolfo Ponferrada and Rafael Lagos, the anti-graft court denied Arroyo's motion to celebrate her special day with her family and close friends in her hometown in Lubao, Pampanga.

Arroyo is currently under hospital-arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City for allegedly misusing the P366-milliion funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Arroyo's fellow accused in the plunder case were former PCSO chairman Manoling Morato, former PCSO vice chair and general manager Rosario Uriarte, former board chairman Sergio Valencia, former assistant general manager for finance Benigno Aguas and former board member Raymundo Roquero.

The former President who will be turning 67 on April 5 has sought the court's permission that she will be allowed to leave her detention facilities from April 4 to 6.

Dr. Martha Nucum, the former leader's physician in the VMMC, said in Arroyo's petition that "the continued confinement in a confined area is not conducive for her [and] allowing her to have bonding with family and friends would contribute to her wellness."

Lawyer Modesto Ticman said Arroyo's health is deteriorating because the Pampanga lawmaker is having difficulty in swallowing food, pain and discomfort from her defective cervical spine.

Last February, the anti-graft court's First Division also junked the Arroyo's petition for bail since the court have stated that "[She] cannot be treated differently from other detainees, who could [also] argue that her continues confinement will result [in] severe depression causing them to succumb to different types of serious illnesses." (Sunnex)

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