THE Sandiganbayan Fourth Division yesterday granted former President-turned Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to travel to Germany for her stem cell therapy and a vacation in Paris and Hong Kong.
The anti-graft division permitted Mrs. Arroyo’s request to go to Munich, Germany; Paris, France; and Hong Kong and report to the Sandiganbayan five days after returning to the country.
“She must nonetheless, within five days from the expected date of return, personally present herself to the Division Clerk of Court together with photocopies of pages of her passport which must not bear any stamp of departure from or entry into the Philippines during the relevant period, the same to be authenticated by the Division Clerk of Court after proper comparison with the original,” the ruling said.
She is facing two graft charges in connection with the alleged anomalous National Broadband Network-ZTE (NBN-ZTE) deal during her term as president.
Based on her motion, Mrs. Arroyo would be travelling with her husband, former First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo to Munich for a medical consultation from September 20 to 29, and for a vacation in Paris from September 29 to October 2 and will be in Hong Kong from October 29 to November 4 for a family reunion.
The former first gentleman is Mrs. Arroyo’s co-accused in one graft case. Arroyo asked the anti-graft court for a medical treatment abroad as she has been suffering from a cervical spondylosis that is characterized by “generalized body weakness, persistent pain over the nuchal and left shoulder with numbness of both hands and frequent episodes of choking.”
During her travel, Arroyo said she would also meet with the Filipino communities there.