The Supreme Court has granted detained former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a day’s worth furlough to give her ample time to go home to her hometown and cast her vote on May 9. However, the former president should be spared from “fanfare or a caravan.”
On Tuesday, a resolution granted by the high court stated that Arroyo is allowed to leave the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City at 7 a.m. on Election Day in order to vote in Lubao, Pampanga. However, she should be back the same day.
Arroyo, who is now 68 years old, is suffering from a spinal disorder, and has been held under hospital detention. She us currently facing trial for plunder and for allegedly using P366 million within two years (2008-2010) from Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for personal gain.
The trial on her plunder case, on the other hand, has been suspended for 60 days as granted by the high court. Arroyo, meanwhile, is asking the high court to reverse the Sandiganbayan ruling denying her bid to post bail, detailing her deteriorating health as her reason for seeking reversal.
Arroyo said that it has been granted many times, where detainees can bail “if their continuous confinement during the pendency of their case would be injurious to their health or endanger their life.”
The former president cited out the case of De La Rama, wherein the high court ruled that hospital arrest “fell short of meeting or accomplishing the humanitarian purpose or reason underlying the doctrine adopted by modern trend of courts’ decisions which permit bail to prisoners, irrespective of the nature and merits of the charge against them, if their continuous confinement during the pendency of their case would be injurious to their health or endanger their life.”
In the 2013 election, the former president was not able to cast her vote due to her health.