Supreme Court grants GMA holiday furloughs

• Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was granted holiday furloughs by the Supreme Court
• The High Tribunal, in a full-court resolution, allowed her to spend Christmas and New Year at her Quezon City residence
• GMA said “wonderful” when informed about SC’s resolution

Jailed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) will be spending Christmas and New Year’s Day in her Quezon City residence after the Supreme Court (SC) granted her holiday furloughs.

SC Public Information Office Chief Attorney Theodore Te said the former president, who is being held in a government hospital for graft allegations, would be allowed to spend the holidays at her residence from 8 in the morning of December 23, 2015 to 5 in the afternoon of December 26, 2015 and 8 a.m. on December 30 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2016.

The holiday furloughs will be spent exclusively at her house at No. 14 Badjao Street, La Vista Subdivision, Quezon City.

“It is understood that notwithstanding the furloughs the petitioner shall remain under preventive custody of the law,” Te announced.

GMA reportedly said “wonderful” when informed by an aide about the SC’s resolution granting her holiday furloughs, according to Reynaldo Panaligan’s article published by Manila Bulletin on December 9, 2015.

Acting chief of the Security and Sheriffs Services of the Sandiganbayan Albert A. de la Cruz was directed by the high tribunal to coordinate with the Philippine National Police in implementing the furloughs. He was told to report to SC his full compliance by January 11, 2016.

The high court’s granting of furloughs to the former president is in line with her petition to be allowed to post bail.

Asked to comment on the Supreme Court’s decision to grant GMA holiday furloughs, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said “We respect the decision of the Supreme Court.”

GMA, who is now a congresswoman representing the 2nd District of Pampanga, is currently being held at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center. She is planning to seek a third term as her province’s representative this coming 2016 elections.