MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Government lawyers posed no objection to several of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's requests including her use of radio and TV while she is under hospital arrest.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) lawyers said they will not object to Arroyo's request for a TV and radio in the presidential suite of the Veterans' Memorial Medical Center. They also posed no objection to Arroyo's request to be allowed to walk and get some sun inside the VMMC compound every day, and to attend Mass at the VMMC chapel on Sundays, provided that the former President has ample security.
On the other hand, Comelec lawyers objected to Arroyo's request to use a laptop and cellphone. They did not object to requests that Arroyo's lawyers be allowed to use cellphones and laptops inside the VMMC provided that they bring these items with them when they leave the hospital.
Judge Jesus Mupas of the Pasay regional trial court branch 112 has yet to rule on Arroyo's pending motion to be allowed to undergo house arrest during Christmas.
For his part, Laurence Arroyo, one of the former president's lawyers, said they had assumed that they could bring laptops and cellphones when visiting Arroyo but had to seek permission from the court since the Philippine National Police is strict in implementing the court's orders. He thanked Comelec for not objecting to some of their requests.
He said the request for house arrest for Arroyo is not relief from detention "because she is still under arrest." With a report from Sol Aragones, ABS-CBN News