MANILA — The Sandiganbayan on Monday gave former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to celebrate the holidays with her loved ones after she was granted a 4-day Christmas furlough.
“Wherefore, the subject motion of accused-movant is partially granted and accused-movant is allowed to celebrate Christmas with her family…at her residence at No. 14 Badjao Street, La Vista, Quezon City,” the ruling penned by First Division acting chairman AssociateJustice Rodolfo Ponferrada said.
The ruling was concurred in by First Division members Associate Justices Alex Quiroz and Rafael Lagos.
Part of the resolution read that Pope Francis was thepersonification of mercy and compassion and that was why the court had allowed Arroyo to spend Christmas in her La Vista home in Quezon City.
Although her request was cut to 4-days, from original Dec. 23 to Jan. 3, still the camp of Arroyo is thankful for the decision.
“We thank the Sandiganbayan for allowing former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to spend time and be with her family this Christmas. Indeed the mercy and compassion of Pope Francis permeates this season of love, felicity and giving,” Mrs. Arroyo’s legal counsel Larry Gadon said in a text message toreporters.
The resolution includes the usual conditions on the use of phones, gadgets and Internet. The expenses of the police and escorts shall be shouldered by Arroyo. She will not be allowed to go anywhere else except for her house in La Vista.
The anti-graft court reminded Arroyo that she can leave VMMC at 10 a.m. Tuesday (Dec. 23), and should be back at VMMC before 2 p.m. on Dec. 26.