Gloria Arroyo seeks birthday furlough

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2014 05:35 PM | Updated as of Mar 11 2014 04:14 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - Former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has asked the Sandiganbayan First Division for a birthday furlough.

Lawyer Modesto Ticman said Mrs. Arroyo asked the anti-graft court for a furlough from April 4 to 6 so she can celebrate her 67th birthday at her hometown of Lubao, Pampanga.

Arroyo's birthday is on April 5.

In the same petition, Arroyo also offered to foot the expenses for her furlough, including food, fuel and extra costs by her escorts.

The 4-page motion was filed by Ticman.

Ticman said the motion is set for hearing on Thursday, March 13, at 8:30 a.m.

Arroyo is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City for a plunder case in connection with the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds.

Malacanang on Monday said the issue is up to the court to decide.

Meantime, Mike Arroyo's lawyer Ferdinand Topacio has filed before the anti-graft court a motion to allow the former First Gentleman to travel abroad.

Mike Arroyo is facing a corruption charge for the allegedly anomalous sale of choppers to the Philippine National Police, for which he has a hold departure order.

He seeks permission to travel to Japan from March 29 to April 4, 2014 and to Europe from May 17 to June 8, 2014.

According to the petition, Arroyo will stay in Osaka and Tokyo in Japan.

He will also visit London, Scotland, France, and Italy.

In his petition, Arroyo said cited the court had already allowed him before to travel overseas.

Mike Arroyo travelled at least twice to Hong Kong and Japan while his case is ongoing.

“Accused-movant has been arraigned, has posted bail, and has posted a travel bond for his previous travels which has not been withdrawn until now," the petition said.

“He has always returned here as it is here where his family and business interests are. His wife is likewise here, hence, he has no reason not to return. He is, thus, clearly not a flight risk," it added.