1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III wants the House of Representatives to rally behind his proposal to place former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo under House arrest.
Under House Resolution No. 1908, Bello asked the 290-member House to present a “united plea” to the Sandiganbayan to allow Arroyo to stay in detention at her La Vista residence in Quezon City.
The lawmaker, a staunch Arroyo ally who had served as Justice Secretary in the previous administration, said the former President’s physical condition has deteriorated as she continues to remain under hospital detention at Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center.
“Her response to pain medication has been diminished, and she continues to complain of moderate to severe pain in the lower back, neck and calf areas,” he said. Arroyo has been diagnosed with cervical spine radiculopathy and degenerative lumbar spine disease.
Adding to Arroyo’s misery, according to Bello, are the various restrictions imposed on her by the Philippine National Police, such as shortened daily sun exposure, prohibited mass attendance at the VMMC Chapel, shortened visiting hours and prohibited overnight stay of her family members.
The lawmaker reminded the Sandiganbayan of Pope Francis’ message of mercy and compassion in his recent visit to the Philippines. He said Arroyo should be placed under House arrest while awaiting the result of her petition for bail, as well as the resolution of the plunder and graft cases filed against her in connection with her alleged misuse of intelligence funds of the state lottery firm.
“Be it resolved further, that the house arrest be granted on such terms, conditions, and reasonable restrictions as the Honorable Sandiganbayan may impose, with the sole end in view of providing the former President such surroundings and atmosphere as may be conducive to her recuperation and well-being, surrounded and cared for by her loving and caring family,” the resolution read.