TAGAYTAY CITY—Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo “looked happy” inside a wellness facility here, a day after she was released from detention.
Arroyo, now a Pampanga representative, arrived at around 9 a.m. at Green and Young Health and Wellness Center in Barangay (village) San Jose.
She was wearing a printed dress and slippers and was accompanied by an elder sister, said a source who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to speak on the former President’s visit here.
“She looked happy. She even laughed and smiled at me,” said the source who was briefly allowed to meet the former President at noon.
Arroyo was released on Wednesday from eight months in detention at Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City after posting a P1-million bail in connection with an electoral sabotage case. Reports said she was here to seek treatment for her illness.
The source said Arroyo was not wearing her neck brace and was lying in bed most of the time.
“I heard that they were going to do some laboratory tests on her,” the source added. An intravenous fluid pack was attached to Arroyo.
Another source who received information from some staff members of the facility said the former President would be staying at the wellness center until Sunday.
But Elena Bautista-Horn, an Arroyo spokesperson, said the former President would check out today from the health facility and would go directly to her district in Pampanga.
The wellness center is run by Antonia Park, a Filipino oncologist.
Park is known for treating her patients, among them well-known personalities and court judges, with herbal medicines and an organic diet.
The source said a sister of Arroyo was also a longtime patient of Park. Cielo Macapagal-Salgado, a former vice governor of Pampanga province, claimed to have survived two forms of cancer through intense prayers.
Horn said the visit to the alternative medicine facility was suggested by the former President’s sister.
Horn said Arroyo agreed to try the new treatment because she had already undergone three surgeries. She also has limited options because she has a hold-departure order that prevents her from seeking treatment abroad.
Acknowledging that the former President’s freedom was temporary, her family would make the most of it, Camarines Sur Representative Diosdado “Dato” Ignacio Arroyo said.
Dato said that all of his mother’s grandchildren slept in her room the first night she was at her home in La Vista in Quezon City, and that his father, sister and elder brother were also there. With reports from Juan Escandor Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon; and Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon