Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo says she's doing more writing than reading nowadays since she's finishing her memoirs
MANILA, Philippines – The Arroyos arrived in court at 7:45 am Wednesday, April 11, under heavy police escort and were immediately whisked by elevator to the third level of the Sandiganbayan building where the fourth division courtroom is located.
They were in court for their arraignment over corruption charges in relation to the botched NBN-ZTE deal.
Before the arraignment, the former President, appearing in a slate-gray two-piece suit and black open-toed wedges, bantered with reporters.
She said she is still required by her doctors to wear her neck brace when she has to walk or travel some distance to alleviate discomfort and pain caused by her problematic spine. Her left leg is also bound by kinesio tape as part of her ongoing therapy.
Mrs Arroyo said she is also suffering from shingles, a painful rash caused by chicken pox virus, which was diagnosed by her doctors last April 6.
“I felt the symptoms Friday, there was severe backache. Then Monday, the acupuncture doctors saw the blisters. I did not go to mass yesterday as I have not been feeling well because of the shingles, it’s like a very, very bad case of flu,” she said.
Asked about her routine while under confinement at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, the former President said she normally takes morning walks, undergoes physical therapy and writes.
“I’m doing more writing now than reading. I’m writing my memoirs, …I don’t know if I’m about halfway. Right now it’s about social bias…how we kept prices of fuel from getting too high inspite of world market prices, mass housing…,” she said.
Interviewed outside the courtroom, Mr. Mike Arroyo said he has faith in the impartiality of Sandiganbayan justices and believes that the court will remain insulated from political pressure.
“I’m confident because the justices here are full of integrity. I don’t think they will yield to any kind of pressure,” he said.
Still he assailed the Ombudsman for implicating him in the case even if he held no position in government.
“Bakit pati ako isinama dito e private citizen lang ako? The information mentioned about abuse of office pero ang designation ko ay First Gentleman, wala namang ganung opisina sa gobyerno. Besides I was in sickbed when that ZTE deal was signed, I was confined at St. Luke’s (Medical Center) how could I be involved there?” he pointed out. “Even my wife, she was only included in the photo-op. She was not even a signatory to the contract.” – Rappler.com
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