Arroyo will go from 'hospital arrest' to hospital

Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2016 05:17 PM

Former President Gloria Macapagal. REUTERS / Romeo Ranoco

MANILA – Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will immediately proceed to the hospital upon her release from detention, one of her lawyers said.

Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, legal spokesperson of the Arroyo family, said the former president will go straight to St. Luke's Medical Center for a check-up after her release.

He added, the former president is upbeat and eager to work, with a visit to her constituents in Pampanga one of her priorities.

"Titingnan natin kung ang talagang state of the health niya kung pwede na siyang mag-work. She's really eager to work kasi sabi nya tagal daw na-deprive ng personal touch niya yung constituents niya," said Topacio.

The Supreme Court promulgated on Thursday its decision that found insufficient evidence in the plunder case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, paving the way for her release.

The issuance of the decision was the stumbling block to the ailing former president's release after five years in detention. The court voted 11-4 on Tuesday to grant her petition for a "demurrer" to prosecutors' evidence.

The Office of the Chief Justice transmitted the copy of the en banc's main decision and dissenting opinions to the Office of the Clerk of Court at 1:20 p.m. Thursday.

The documents were then given to SC process server Benjamin Anonuevo, who was on his way to the Sandiganbayan on Thursday afternoon to serve the Notice of Judgment and the promulgated decision.

The Sandiganbayan, which heard the plunder case, will send a sheriff to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) to implement the release order.

Topacio expressed his sentiment against the delay in Arroyo's release. He said the delay took away the ''immediately executory'' nature of the order. But he said the former president is being patient.

"She's a person of strong faith, she's taking it in stride. Mas mainitin pa nga yata kaming abugado niya kesa sa kanya. She's not fine with it, but she's patiently waiting," said Topacio.

On the statement that the Ombudsman will still pursue a case against Arroyo despite the SC acquittal, Topacio said the act is a prerogative of the Ombudsman.

"I hope it's not another harassment suit ano. Kasi, nagiging instrumento para ma-harass eh, pero that is the prerogative of the Ombudsman," said Topacio.