Sandiganbayan allows Arroyos to spend holidays with GMA
The anti-graft court rules favorably on the Pampanga representative's request for family members to be allowed to stay beyond prescribed visiting hours

File photo of Former Presiden Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. AFP file

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be allowed to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with her family at her hospital suite.

The Sandiganbayan allowed the family of the Pampanga representative, who is currently under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), to spend the holidays with her, the ABS-CBN News Channel reported Thursday, December 19.

The request stems from an urgent motion filed by Arroyo’s lawyers on Friday, December 13. The former President requested that visitors be allowed to stay in her hospital suite longer and beyond 9:30 pm.

Arroyo is currently detained due to a plunder case related to alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds.

Malacañang welcomed the Sandiganbayan decision. 

Ikinagagalak namin pinahintulutan ng Sandiganbayan ang dating Pangulong Arroyo na ipagdiwang ang Pasko at bagong taon na kapiling ang kaniyang pamilya (We welcome the Sandiganbayan’s move to allow former President Arroyo to celebrate Christmas and new year with her family),” Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr said in a press briefing Thursday, December 19. 

Asked for the Palace’s Christmas wish for the former president, Coloma said: “Lahat naman tayo ay umaasa na ang katahimikan at ang kapayapaan at ang kabutihan ang iiral sa panahon ng Kapaskuhan (We are all hoping that calmness, peace and goodness will prevail in the Christmas season).”

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