Gloria Arroyo cites hospital ‘distress’ in bail plea

Buena Bernal

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A second doctor submits the same finding to the anti-graft court: the former president's confinement is 'not conducive to her recuperation'
HOLISTIC APPROACH. Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo says a more holistic approach in her treatment is needed for speedy recuperation. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP
MANILA, Philippines – Arguing for her temporary liberty, former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo cited “tremendous distress” in being a “prisoner in a hospital.”
Arroyo, through lawyer Modesto Ticman Jr, filed on Wednesday, July 2, a motion for admission to bail before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.
The former chief executive filed the motion in relation to her plunder case involving P366 million in allegedly misused charity funds. Plunder is typically a non-bailable offense.
Attached to Arroyo’s motion is a psychological assessment report, saying hospital confinement is “not conducive” for her “speedy recuperation.”
“The negative emotions Ms Arroyo is experiencing at present is giving her difficulties in sleeping (she is currently experiencing insomnia), loneliness and dysphoric mood, and constricted affect,” read the report prepared by Dr Arnulfo Lopez.
Lopez said the conditions resulting from Arroyo’s distress are “due to her confinement, limited contact with her family, and very restricted actions.”
Watch this report below.

New doctor, same recommendation
After being allowed to be under hospital arrest instead of regular detention, Arroyo now says her condition has not improved during her more than a year of hospital stay.
Arroyo previously secured the same recommendation from another doctor, but the court noted that the doctor was a bone and orthopedic specialist. 
Dr Lopez, who penned the new report, is a clinical psychologist.
Lopez said a more “holistic approach” involving “family support, emotional stability and spiritual upliftment” is needed in Arroyo’s treatment.
He recommended that the former president be allowed “unrestricted mobility, interactive lifestyle, engagement in her usual daily routine, performance of her usual activities as a public servant” as part of her treatment.

Double standard?

Arroyo added there was a double standard when the court granted the petitions for bail of her co-accused in the plunder of charity funds.

Plunder, her lawyer argued, involved conspiracy. This would mean that the act of one is the act of all.

Lawyer Ticman said the “settled doctrine” on the nature of conspiracy was violated when all other accused were granted bail except his client.

“Those similarly situated must be similarly dealt with. Why the refusal to allow bail to accused PGMA?” her motion read. –


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