MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – The Sandiganbayan First Division has allowed former president and now Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to undergo a medical examination at St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City.
Arroyo's lawyer, Modesto Ticman Jr., said the anti-graft court allowed Arroyo to undergo ''urodynamic testing'' (UDT) to address her difficulty in urinating and occasional bleeding. The diagnostic test is expected to last for less than an hour.
The recommendation for a UDT was made by Arroyo's urogynecologist, Dr. Manuel Ocampo Jr.
"My primary concern, at this time, is her sensation of incomplete bladder emptying. This may be a cause for future lower urinary tract infections (bladder, urethra) that with frequency may ascend and cause recurrent kidney infections," Ocampo said in his medical certificate for Arroyo.
Arroyo arrived at St. Luke's Medical Center at around 2 p.m. on board a white coaster. She was wearing a neck brace and was heavily guarded by policemen. She was accompanied by her husband, Mike, and son, Dato.
Ticman earlier explained that Veterans Memorial Medical Center, where Arroyo is under hospital arrest, has the facility for UDT but it is not yet operational.
Arroyo is under hospital arrest for a plunder charge in connection with the alleged misuse of about P360 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) confidential and intelligence funds.
The prosecution panel initially objected to the Arroyo camp's request, saying a similar facility is available at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, which is nearer to VMMC.
The prosecution panel eventually agreed with the defense panel's request after the Arroyo camp promised to shoulder the expenses for the former president's travel, security and the medical examination itself.
Arroyo left St. Luke's Medical Center at around 3 p.m. She was transported back to VMMC at around 3:30 p.m.
Doctors from St. Luke's have yet to give a statement on Arroyo's medical examination. – reports from Johnson Manabat and Jon Ibañez, dzMM