MANILA – A visibly healthier former president and Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo faced the press Monday, and even joked about whether reporters were asking for "beauty tips."
Teased about her "blooming" state, a fully made-up Arroyo said being released from detention has indeed improved her health.
Arroyo was released from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center on July 21, after the Supreme Court ruled to dismiss her plunder case over the allegedly anomalous use of the confidential/intelligence funds transferred to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office when she was president.
''Freedom is always very healthy, but I don’t know exactly how I am yet. I'm leaving two weeks from now for Germany,'' she said.
Arroyo said she will know the full state of her health when she leaves for Germany for a medical check-up.
Arroyo earlier filed a motion asking the Sandiganbayan 4th Division to allow her to travel abroad.
The Sandiganbayan has a standing hold departure against Arroyo since 2012 because of her pending graft charges over the allegedly anomalous NBN-ZTE deal. She would need the anti-graft court's permission before making trips outside the country.
Arroyo plans to visit three countries in the coming months, including Germany scheduled on September 20 to 29 to consult medical experts on her condition and health.
Arroyo, who was diagnosed with multilevel cervical spondylosis, said she has sent all her medical records to her doctors in Germany in advance so that everything will be ready when she arrives there.
She will then fly to France from September 29 and stay until October 2 for a vacation.
She also plans to visit Filipino communities in Europe.
Arroyo will also attend a family reunion and spend time with her family in Hong Kong from October 29 to November 4.
Arroyo vowed before Sandiganbayan that "she has every intention of returning to the Philippines to face the remaining charges against her and to clear her name."