MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The camp of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Friday said they will appeal the “no cellphone, no laptop” policy for Arroyo once she is transferred to the presidential suite at the Veterans’ Memorial Medical Center (VMMC).
Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said Mrs. Arroyo, who now represents the 2nd district of Pampanga province in Congress, wants a computer so she could still work even while under hospital arrest for electoral sabotage.
“She can read. She can give emails about her ideas on pending legislation. Notwithstanding the fact that she is sick, she still wants to work and do her duty as representative of her district,” Topacio told reporters.
“Whatever you can say about her, her work ethic shows she’s a workaholic. She tries her best to work,” he added.
Arroyo spokeswoman Elena Bautista Horn, meanwhile, said the former president may want to write a book using her laptop.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo earlier said Arroyo will be barred from using a cellphone or computer at the VMMC. The Pasay court said this is to show there is no VIP treatment for Mrs. Arroyo.
Robredo, however, said Arroyo can bring her own bed to the hospital if her medical condition requires it.
Meanwhile, Topacio said the Arroyo camp will ask the Pasay Regional Trial Court to extend the 5-day period for Arroyo’s transfer to VMMC if she is still sick.
He said Arroyo’s doctors will give a report today if the former president has already recuperated from colitis.
He also urged the government to take seriously their claim that there is a plot to harm Arroyo.
Horn, Arroyo’s son, Camarines Sur Rep. Dato Arroyo, and Atty. Jay Alberto Flaminiano visited the VMMC Friday morning and spent less than an hour inspecting the 150-square-meter suite where Arroyo will be staying.
Horn did not categorically say they were satisfied with the suite but said at least improvements are being done. She noted that they may have to do something with the bed since it is manually operated. They intend to have an automatic one for Arroyo.
Asked for reaction on Palace criticisms of the alleged plot to kill Arroyo, Horn said her source is a real person, a real government official that approached them and they are not basing their information on simple text messages like Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. With a report from Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News