The Straits Times
Published on Dec 19, 2012

Philippines' Arroyo denied temporary reprieve to spend Christmas at home


MANILA (AFP) - Detained former Philippine president Gloria Arroyo is to spend Christmas at a military hospital after a court rejected her bid for a temporary reprieve, an official said on Wednesday.

The 65-year-old will not be allowed to leave the Veterans Memorial Medical Centre over the holidays, said Ms Sandra Palugay, a staff member of the Sandiganbayan special anti-graft court which handed down the ruling.

"There is a denial of the request of the former president," she told AFP, declining to give the court's reasons for its decision. Mrs Arroyo had asked to go home from Dec 21 to Jan 7 next year.

Her lawyer Anacleto Diaz expressed surprise at the ruling. He would not say what her legal team would do next.