Arroyo lawyers file motion on phone, laptop use

by Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 22 2011 06:01 PM | Updated as of Dec 23 2011 02:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Lawyers of former President Gloria Arroyo filed a partial motion for reconsideration on Thursday on a Pasay court's decision to prohibit her from using a cellphone and laptop while in detention.

Arroyo's counsel believes that this is "too excessive a restriction in achieving jail security," saying the former President is already under heavy guard and has allegedly proven not to be a "flight risk."

The defense also said disallowing cellphones and laptops allegedly violates minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners set forth by the United Nations.

They said the UN requires that detainees should be allowed reasonable facilities in communicating with family and friends.

Arroyo's lawyers also said that restricting her access to communication will impinge on her right to due process and counsel, since her lawyers cannot be at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), where she is confined, at all times.

The defense argued that these requests do not constitute VIP treatment and are within the purview of the court to grant.

Arroyo also asked for more time outside of her suite at the VMMC to get some sunlight, for health reasons.

The court earlier granted the former President one hour in the morning each day for Arroyo to leave her room to get some fresh air and visit the local chapel.

Arroyo is asking the court for another hour of sunlight in the afternoon.