MANILA – Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will get a dozen roses from husband Mike Arroyo as a gift for her 67th birthday on April 5.
The former first gentleman, who has been known to give his wife roses for her birthday every year, hinted how he will celebrate Arroyo’s birthday at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) on Saturday:
"With 12 roses, and being there all day and night," he said.
Arroyo and children Mikey, Luli and Dato, and their respective families, are expected to maximize the extended visiting hours allowed by the anti-graft court for the birthday of the Pampanga 2nd district lawmaker.
Arroyo said he is happy that their family has been allowed to sleep over at the VMMC from the eve of his wife's birthday until the next day.
“The court granted (her) request for her family to sleep there with her. I am sure we will have a thanksgiving mass on Saturday,” he added.
The anti-graft court granted Arroyo’s request to allow her loved ones to stay at the VMMC from 9 a.m. on April 4 to 9:30 p.m. of April 6, since April 5 is her birthday.
Arroyo’s spokesman Ferdinand Topacio said that aside from immediate family, the former President's classmates at Assumption College, her former Cabinet members, former colleagues at the Senate, and current colleagues at the House will be among the 50 guests approved by the Philippine National Police for visits on her birthday.
The lawmaker will also be visited by her doctors and spiritual advisers.
Some of Arroyo’s recent VIP visitors will also be sending representatives.
Meanwhile, food will be potluck.
Malacañang had already greeted Arroyo on the occasion of her 67th birthday on Saturday.
“We want to greet her a happy birthday, and we hope that she will be happy celebrating it, along with her loved ones,” Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office told a news briefing.
A similar arrangement was allowed by the court for Arroyo’s Yuletide holidays in 2013.
Arroyo is detained on a non-bailable plunder charge in connection with the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office intelligence funds. Complications from a cervical spine surgery forced her hospital arrest.
The anti-graft court earlier rejected her bid for a 3-day birthday furlough.
Her last medical bulletin submitted to the anti-graft court reported that her health condition continues to deteriorate due to recurrent dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing food.