3 lawmakers press call for GMA house arrest
• January 4, 2015
• Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
• Published in Top Stories
AT least three House opposition leaders yesterday expressed high hopes that the holiday furlough extended by the Sandiganbayan First Division to ailing former President-turned Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last holiday season will be a prelude to her house arrest.
In separate interviews, House independent bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, House Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Isabela Rep. Rodolfo “Rodito” Albano III, and 1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III appealed anew to the anti-graft division to grant Mrs. Arroyo’s longtime request to be placed under house arrest at her residence at posh La Vista Subdivision in Quezon City.
Romualdez, a lawyer and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), said the anti-graft body should grant the former President’s request given her fragile health condition. “The former president has been suffering from a debilitating medical condition. I am hoping that the four-day holiday furlough given to her last holiday season will be a prelude to her house arrest out of compassion and humanitarian reasons,” Romualdez pointed out. Earlier, Mrs. Arroyo’s doctors said the former president has continued to lose weight because of her esophageal stenosis or the narrowing of the esophagus resulting in recurrent dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing of solid food and has been complaining of cervical radicular and low back pain.
“Aside from the needed medical treatment, (former) President Arroyo needs care and interaction with her loved ones which could help improve her condition. Constant family bonding for her overall wellness is needed aside from the best possible medical procedures to be given to her,” Romualdez pointed out.
Albano, a stalwart of the House opposition bloc, said he is also hoping that the Sandiganbayan First Division favorable ruling on Mrs. Arroyo’s request for Christmas furlough would be a “prelude to her house arrest.”
“She has been suffering from a debilitating medical condition. The Sandiganbayan should grant house arrest to CGMA,” Albano, a member of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA), said.
Bello, the main proponent of a resolution filed in Congress appealing to the Sandiganbayan to grant house arrest to Mrs. Arroyo, vowed to revive her request by asking again his colleagues at the House of Representatives to sign a manifesto of support.
“I am renewing my appeal to the Sandiganbayan to allow Mrs. Arroyo’s house arrest because spending time with her family members will do a lot to improve her poor health condition,” said Bello.