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Arroyo can stay at VMMC—Comelec

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Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Sunday said it was all right if former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remained in detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City rather than in a regular jail.

“It’s OK with us. Our motion was to determine if she was already well based on her doctors’ assessment. If not, it’s OK, we’re not forcing her,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes told reporters.

The Comelec changed its mind after earlier asking the Pasay City court hearing the electoral sabotage case against Arroyo to find out from her doctors if she was fit to be moved to a regular detention facility. Electoral sabotage is a non-bailable offense.

On Friday, Dr. Antonio Sison, a government orthopedic surgeon caring for Arroyo, expressed a preference for letting her stay at the VMMC so her condition could be monitored while she underwent daily physical therapy.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police had also said that Arroyo would be better off at the hospital for security reasons.

Brillantes said Arroyo would not be required to appear in court for every hearing so she need not undergo the strain of the long trip from Quezon City to Pasay City.

“They (defense) can file a waiver of appearance before the court. It’s allowed that she’ll not appear anymore,” he said.

Arroyo will be arraigned on February 20 on the electoral sabotage charge for allegedly ordering subordinates to cheat in the 2007 senatorial polls in Maguindanao.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, meanwhile, said House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez should not mislead people by saying that Trillanes was allowed to have laptops and cell phones when he was in detention in Fort Bonifacio and Camp Crame.

Trillanes took Suarez to task for using his case as a precedent to try and convince Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to allow Arroyo, now a representative from Pampanga, to have laptops and cell phones while in detention.

Trillanes said that when he was held at the Marine Brigade in Fort Bonifacio and later at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame from July 2007 to December 2010, he was barred from having any gadgets.

Trillanes was already a senator then, having won in the May 2007 national elections.

“While I do not begrudge Representative Suarez his assertion of Mrs. Arroyo’s right to serve as an elected representative of Pampanga, he should at least get his facts straight,” Trillanes said.

“Mrs. Arroyo’s government did its best to make it difficult, if not impossible, for me to work while in detention. It’s not true they allowed me to use mobile phones and computers. They also barred me from receiving guests and holding committee hearings.”

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Tags: Arroyo health , Comelec , electoral sabotage , Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo , Hospital Arrest , VMMC

  • Guest

    pagbutihin mo BRILLANTES at bandang huli niyan tiyak parang WETPU ka ng baso,fake na diamond….

  • whyinthisworld

    Listening to suarez is just a waste of time. He is nothing but pang gulo lang to absolve his master gloria. To Quezon voters, I do not know why you keep him in congress when in fact he’s not doing any progress in your area.

  • dongBarako

    May we know kung magkano na nagastos ng gobyerno sa pananatili ni Gloria sa VMMC?
    Pera na naman namin ang ibinabayad dyan?!

  • eagleclaw101

    Chairman Brillantes, you
    are nothing but a habitual parasite that lives off and flatters the rich using
    your Comelec entity as your leverage.  Last
    week you made mention of regular jail…now, its okay for Gloria to remain at the

  • jericxx

    She should not even be arrested.  The case is weak.  It is just to satisfy the whims of a vindictive president.

  • nice_boy

    The case against GMA is the same as the impeachment of the CJ.  Railroaded.  Grossly insufficient evidence without proper discussion and fore thought.  Just to satisfy the whims of the president.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X367KBSTAKY6TWRQTWZ2PZMPGU Michael Molina

    kung nagsasakit-sakitan lang, ikulong na yan. wala namang pinagkaiba sa mga kriminal ng lansangan. mas masahol pa nga! anu ba naman yan!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UEFTIYOAXJYSKZDXGJQL6P3MII Tyler

    Suarez is the new lapdog of PGMA now that she had disposed of Lagman. Trillanes was never given special treatment — he was not even allowed to perform his basic legislative mandate i.e., hearing of bills, etc. Despite that, he was one of the most productive Senators even while in detention. Hindi kasi akalain ni PGMA na darating ang oras na magpapalit sila ng puwesto ni Trillanes. Had she known, she would have treated him 
    in a humane manner at the very least.

  • dongBarako

    Kailan ba simula ng hearing sa kaso ni pandak?…alam ko di pa na-aaraign ito.
    Bilisan nyo naman at ma sentensyahan na ito at malipat sa bilibid.

  • Maldi2

    Why would Trlllanes compare GMA detention againt his?  Very elementary or sheer ignorance of LAW again.  Trillanes was convicted by JAGO of rebellion and GMA not even being arraigned of these lies? 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PJBKNWSYGBD3CZZZQ2M56KJECY Cady

    Neither military court nor civilian court convicted Trillanes of rebellion. Pls check your ammo before you fire.

  • ramser

    Bottom line is this. Who is going to bear the expenses of VMMC? Brilliant idea of Brilliantes? if it comes out of his pockets then I am sure nobody would mind.

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