Sandiganbayan approves Arroyo’s request to attend brother’s wake

The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan granted on Tuesday afternoon the request of former President and Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to attend the wake of her late brother Arturo.

Arroyo’s lawyer, Atty. Lawrence Arroyo, said the anti-graft court, in a two-page resolution, allowed his client to attend Macapagal’s wake daily for four hours — 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. — from Tuesday until Friday.

At the end of the four-hour daily furlough, Mrs. Arroyo’s guard have to escort her back to detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.

Mrs. Arroyo’s camp earlier asked the Sandiganbayan to allow her to attend the Mass for her brother at the Heritage Park in Taguig City from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The former president also sought to attend her brother’s burial on Saturday, but the Sandiganbayan is expected to release a separate decision on the matter.

Mrs. Arroyo’s half-brother, Arturo Macapagal, 72, died of prostate cancer at the Makati Medical Center at around 6:40 a.m. Tuesday.

Macapagal was the son of the late President Diosdado Macapagal from his first wife, Purita dela Rosa.

He was the eldest of the four Macapagal siblings. He and Cielo Macapagal are half-siblings of Mrs. Arroyo and Diosdado Macapagal Jr. or Buboy.

Mrs. Arroyo and Buboy are the late President Macapagal’s children with former First Lady Evangelina Macapagal.

Mrs. Arroyo is currently under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City for plunder in connection with the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds during her presidency. (PNA)

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