Sandiganbayan allows Arroyo check-up at St Luke’s

Ryan Macasero

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Sandiganbayan allows Arroyo check-up at St Luke’s
(UPDATED) The anti-graft court's First Division grants former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a 2-day furlough a week after a UN body opined that her detention violates international law

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Citing humanitarian considerations, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has allowed former president now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to have a two-day check-up at the St Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City.*

The Sandiganbayan’s First Division released its resolution on Thursday, October 15, ANC reported.

Arroyo’s lawyers had earlier filed a 3-page motion asking the court to allow her to leave her detention facility at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center so she can undergo various medical tests at the private medical facility from 9 am on October 21 to 4 pm on October 22.

Arroyo, who suffers from cervical spondylosis, is under hospital arrest for plunder charges.

The court’s decision comes a week after Arroyo’s lawyers released the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s opinion over the detention of the former president, calling it a “violation of international law.” 

The complaint was filed before the UN  body last February by international lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney on behalf of the former president.

Arroyo’s lawyer, Lorenzo Gadon, said that besides “cervical spondylosis,” the former president is suffering from a new ailment which causes severe pain in her left arm.

“‘Pag nagkakaharap kami ni dating pangulo, si Gloria Arroyo, nagrereklamo siya na nahihirapan siyang i-lift ang tasa ng tea na kanyang iinumin at nilipat niya sa kabilang kamay ang tasa,” Gadon said.

(When we see each other, she complains that she has a hard time lifting her teacup and she has to use her other hand.)

Arroyo has been detained since 2012 over the alleged misuse of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s intelligence funds (PCSO), amounting to P366 million.

Arroyo’s health issues began when a titanium implant in her spine became dislodged in 2012 and protruded into her esophagus, making it difficult for her to swallow. (READ: GMA’s life threatening condition revealed

On October 14, Arroyo’s son Mikey filed on her behalf her certificate of candidacy (COC) for re-election for a third and last term as Pampanga representative in 2016– 

*Editor’s Note: In a previous version of this story, we indicated St Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig. This has been corrected to say Quezon City.

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Nobuhiko Matsunaka


Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at