MANILA, Philippines – Former president now Pampanga Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is eyeing a trip to Germany in September to undergo stem cell therapy for her spinal condition.
Arroyo asked the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division to allow her to go to Munich, Germany, from September 10 to 29; Paris, France from September 29 to October 3; and Hong Kong from October 29 to November 4.
If granted, it would be her first overseas trip since she was placed under hospital arrest in 2012.
In a separate motion before the same Sandiganbayan division, former first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo asked that he be allowed to accompany his wife on those trips.
Asked on Wednesday, August 10, what she plans to do in Germany, Arroyo told reporters, “Probably stem cell therapy.”
She also confirmed plans to go to France and Hong Kong.
“Yes, because I will meet the Filipino communities there. I haven’t interacted with them for a long time,” said Arroyo, who used to meet with Filipino communities abroad whenever she had foreign trips during her presidency.
The former president is suffering from multiple cervical spondolysis or the wearing off of the bones. She has been undergoing stem cell therapy since 2012.
Antonia Park of the Green & Young Health & Wellness Center, the physician who took in Arroyo for stem cell treatment, admitted to Rappler in 2014 that she is not a registered physician.
On Wednesday, Arroyo donated dialysis machines, beds, and an air-conditioning unit to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, where she was under hospital arrest over plunder for nearly 4 years.
She was released on July 21 after the Supreme Court ruled that there is “insufficiency of evidence” that she misused intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Arroyo is now juggling her work as a legislator with her ongoing twice-a-week treatments for her condition.
The former president, who is set to be named as one of the new House deputy speakers, said it is a “strategic direction” for her to fully support the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte, even his controversial pet bills like the reimposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes. – Rappler.com
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