Arroyo co-accused in PCSO fund mess seeks furlough for eye check-up
MANILA, Philippines – A Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) officer facing plunder for the alleged misuse of funds with former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has asked the Sandiganbayan for a medical furlough to attend an eye check-up.
In a motion before the antigraft court First Division, detained budget officer Benigno Aguas asked the court for a one-day furlough to undergo an eye check-up at the soonest time possible in a government hospital.
Aguas, 67, said his doctor has advised him to have a check-up with an ophthalmologist because his vision is deteriorating due to diabetes.
The accused said his eyesight is at the “risk of losing eyesight.” “In fact, his left eye’s vision is now already down to 30 percent,” Aguas’ motion said.
“The physician who attended to Movant at his detention cell certified to the urgency of the need for movant to be thoroughly examined by an ophthalmologist…such an examination by an eye specialist would require the use of sophisticated equipment which can be found only in a clinic or hospital,” the motion read.
In a recommendation attached to the motion, Aguas’ doctor Erwin Erfe said “On examination, patient is a known diabetic for 5 years with near blindness of the left eye.”
“Patient requires immediate examination by an ophthalmologist to possibly save his eyesight,” Erfe added in his recommendation.
Aguas assured the court that his furlough is not intended to “compromise his detention in any manner.”
Aguas is the co-accused of Arroyo for plunder over the alleged misuse of P366 million in PCSO intelligence funds from 2008 to 2010 for personal gain.
Aguas is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame while Arroyo is currently under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City.
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