Court allows Arroyo to reactivate registration as voter
MANILA, Philippines – Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's request to register anew as a voter was granted by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan on Tuesday, August 5.
In a minute resolution, the Sandiganbayan's 1st division ordered Leonilo Paule Miguel, election officer of Lubao, Pampanga, or any duly authorized representative to visit her in detention for a "voter-list reactivation and biometrics validation."
Arroyo has been under hospital detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) since 2012.
The anti-graft court is hearing her plunder case for allegedly conspiring with officers of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to fraudulently convert the state lottery firm's P366-million corporate funds into confidential intelligence funds, then releasing the sum as various expenses.
Arroyo's original motion was for her to be allowed to leave detention for the voter registration, needed if and when she opts to run for a third term as congresswoman.
But her lawyers eventually agreed with the prosecution's position to instead let a Lubao election officer visit her in detention for the registration process.
In opposing Arroyo's motion to go to Lubao's election office, prosecutors Gidget Rose Duque and Julieta Niduaza cited the congresswoman's security and physical safety.
Arroyo is at the state-run VMMC due to problems with her spine. She also cited "distress" while in hospital detention in her recent bail plea before the court. (READ: Gloria Arroyo cites hospital 'distress' in bail plea)
While she ran for a second term and won in the May 2013 elections, she was not allowed by the court to go out and cast a vote herself. She also missed the barangay elections in October 2013.
Under Philippine laws, a voter's records are deactivated when he or she fails to vote in two consecutive elections. – Rappler.com