MANILA (Mabuhay) – Former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Monday asked the Sandiganbayan for a nine day temporary house arrest to attend the wake of her 13 month old grandson who died Sunday of a congenital heart disease.
“Accused Arroyo respectfully prays that the Honorable Court immediately issue an order placing her under house arrest for nine days from November 3 to November 12 at her residence in La Vista [and to allow] her to attend daily the wake of her grandson at North Forbes [in Makati,]” Mrs. Arroyo’s motion read.
In the same motion, Mrs. Arroyo asked that she be allowed to attend the burial of her grandson, the date and time of which has yet to be determined.
In an emotional two page urgent ex parte motion for leave, Mrs. Arroyo asked the anti-graft court to allow her to visit the remains of Jorge Alonzo “Jugo” Arroyo Bernas, her grandson and the son of her only daughter, Luli Arroyo-Bernas.
In her motion prepared by lawyers, the detained former Philippine leader detailed how she was devastated by the news that Jugo passed away.
“Arroyo received the crushing news of Jugo’s death while she was waiting for him to arrive at the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center yesterday morning. A day that was supposed to bring joy in the form of a grandson delivered unspeakable grief instead. A grandson is not supposed to die ahead of a grandparent. Jugo was not supposed to die ahead of his grandmother. But for reasons beyond human understanding, he did,” the motion read.
In her motion, Mrs. Arroyo also reiterated that she is not a flight risk.
“She is not a flight risk and has no intention of fleeing. She only wishes to be with her family at this hour of terrible personal tragedy,” the motion said. The former Philippine leader’s motion also appealed to the anti-graft court’s compassion.
“Arroyo would like to believe that there is room enough in our justice system to accommodate the request of a grandmother to be allowed to properly grieve the loss of a grandson’s life,” it said.
The former president asked for nine days to observe religious traditions. However, in a chance interview with her counsel, lawyer Jose Flaminiano, he said the court will ultimately decide how many days, if any, Mrs. Arroyo will be allowed.
In 2012, the Pasay Regional Trial Court gave Mrs. Arroyo eight hours to attend the wake of her brother-in-law, then-Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo Jr. at the exclusive La Vista Subdivision in Quezon City.
Mrs. Arroyo’s camp had requested a three-day furlough but the court reduced this to eight hours.
Mrs. Arroyo has been under hospital arrest at the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City since 2012 for allegedly conspiring to fraudulently divert P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office intelligence funds “for personal gain” from 2008 to 2010.
Mrs. Arroyo’s motion is set for hearing Tuesday, 8:30 am. (MNS)