House Arrest of Gloria Arroyo

By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

Lawyers of former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo filed late Monday afternoon a formal motion asking the Pasay City court handling the electoral sabotage raps against her to allow her to be detained at their family residence in Quezon City.

Lawyers Jay Flaminiano and Lawrence Arroyo filed the 16-page motion for house arrest at their residence on Badjao Street, La Vista Subdivision, Quezon City before the sala of Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas.

Mupas issued the warrant for Arroyo’s arrest last Nov. 18 based on the complaint filed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in connection with alleged irregularities in the 2007 mid-term elections.

Also included in the case were former Maguindanao governor and close Arroyo ally, Andal Ampatuan Sr. and former election supervisor Lintang Bedol.

Electoral sabotage is a non-bailable offense, especially if the evidence is strong.

Arroyo said they were just formalizing their request for house arrest for the former leader.

“She is our former president and as such, we should give her respect,” Atty. Lawrence Arroyo said.

Last Friday, Arroyo’s camp withdrew their motion for her continued hospital arrest after one of her attending doctors at the St. Lukes Medical Center (SLMC), orthopaedic surgeon Mario Ver told the court her condition has improved and she is fit to leave the hospital anytime.

Aside from the formation motion for house arrest, her lawyer also asked Mupas to allow her to stay at the SLMC for a few more days as she underwent colonoscopy procedure.

The procedure was conducted after she continued to experience bout of diarrhea that started last week.

Arroyo said they expect the court to hold hearings on their twin motion on Dec. 1.

Prior to the filing, her lawyer held a press briefing at the SLMC wherein they denied that they had coerced the former president’s attending physicians into lying about her health condition.

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