MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 1) - Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is asking the Sandiganbayan to allow her to travel and visit her parents' grave at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio on November 1, All Saints’ Day.
Arroyo, who is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, said she wants to see the grave of her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal.
“Importante mabisita niya mga magulang niya. Through the memory of her father, she looks to him for comfort and solace,” Arroyo lawyer Anacleto Diaz said.
The Sandiganbayan First Division has deferred its decision on the motion, pending the submission of a medical certificate from Arroyo's doctors.
Justice Efren dela Cruz said the medical certificate will be a basis for consideration since the prosecution posted no objection to Mrs. Arroyo’s travel request.
The hearing for the motion to travel is scheduled on Wednesday, October 31.
Diaz urged the Sandiganbayan to decide quickly on the request so that Arroyo’s security detail can be prepared.
Confusion over TRO
Meanwhile, the Arroyo camp also admitted they were also confused over a Supreme Court hold order blocking the arrest of one of Mrs. Arroyo's co-accused in the plunder case.
Diaz said they initially thought Mrs. Arroyo was included in yesterday's temporary restraining order issued by the SC since the court is referring to one and the same arrest order.
The SC later clarified the TRO only covered Commission on Audit-Intelligence Fund Unit head Nilda B. Plaras.
"Hayaan mo na, it happens," Diaz said. "You cannot divide the warrant of arrest, kung yung isa may TRO dapat pati yung mga alleged co-conspirators."
Diaz also explained that while they have a motion for Mrs. Arroyo to have medical tests done at the Philippine Heart Center, doctors have advised them to temporarily halt the plan.
"Delikado daw for her to undergo the 2D echo stress test. May doctor na nagsasabi na unstable pa ang condition niya kaya huwag muna," he said.