Arroyo ally rues denial of Christmas furlough

by Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 19 2012 05:47 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2012 01:48 AM

MANILA, Philippines - House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez expressed dismayed on Wednesday over the Sandiganbayan's rejection of a Christmas furlough for former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Suarez said he saw no reason for the anti-graft court to deny the Pampanga lawmaker's request since she has no intention of escaping, especially with her current health.

He said the court should have granted Arroyo's request to visit her Pampanga constituents on Christmas Day.

Suarez also said security and rules have been tightened at the hospital room of the former President.

He said that when he and some minority lawmakers visited Arroyo, they found out that aside from the prohibition on using cellphones, visiting hours have also been shortened.

Suarez hopes that the Aquino administration will show pity on the former President.

Plunder charges have been filed by the Ombudsman against Macapagal-Arroyo and other officials in connection with the alleged misuse of around P366 million intelligence funds belonging to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).