Should GMA get birthday furlough? Solons react

By Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2014 04:36 PM | Updated as of Mar 12 2014 12:36 AM

MANILA - Colleagues of former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo have varying opinions on whether or not she should be allowed to go on furlough in time for her birthday.

House Speaker Sonny Belmonte said he is leaving the decision with the Sandiganbayan, where Arroyo filed the petition.

At the very least, Belmonte believes Arroyo should be allowed to accept more visitors than usual for her birthday.

Cebu 3rd District Representative Gwen Garcia, meanwhile, is hoping the Sandiganbayan will grant Arroyo's request for humanitarian reasons and also allow her to visit her constituents in Pampanga.

Garcia visited Arroyo, who she said has lost a lot of weight.

Meantime, Bayan Muna party-list Representative Neri Colmenares said Arroyo should not be given special treatment.

If she will given furlough, other detainees should also be given the same privileges, he said.

Lawyer Modesto Ticman on Monday said 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.

The motion is set for hearing on March 13, Thursday, 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.