Arroyo wants to attend El Shaddai leader’s wedding anniversary

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

DETAINED Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has asked the Sandiganbayan third division to allow her to attend the 50th wedding anniversary of El Shaddai founder Bro. Mike Velarde and his wife Belen.

In a motion, Arroyo told the court that she was chosen as one of the principal sponsors during the golden wedding anniversary of the Velardes to be held on July 18 at Amvel City in Parañaque City.

"Humbled and privileged of having been chosen as one of the principal sponsors, it is accused/movant fervent wish and desire to grace the occasion as Bro. Mike Velarde is not only a close friend but herspiritual adviser as well," the motion read.

Other principal sponsors include Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., and Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.

Arroyo's camp assured the Sandiganbayan that the Pampanga lawmaker is fit to travel from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) to the wedding venue despite her deteriorating health condition.

Arroyo, a former president, has been detained at VMMC in Quezon City for the plunder charges filed against her in connection with the alleged misuse of P366 million in confidential intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Last week, the Sandiganbayan fourth division issued a 90-day preventive suspension against Arroyo, in connection with the graft charges filed against her over the National Broadband Network-ZTE deal controversy.

The former chief executive is charged with two counts of graft and one count of violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees for allegedly having unlawful interest in the NBN project and for using the power of the presidency to push for the approval of the proposal submitted by the ZTE Corporation.

The ruling was signed by fourth division chairperson Associate Justice Gregory Ong and Justices Jose Hernandez and Maria Cristina Cornejo.

Ong is currently under fire and has been recommended for dismissal by the Supreme Court after an investigation ordered by the high tribunal confirmed his close ties with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles. (Sunnex)

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