Lipa City archbishop visits detained Arroyo

Posted at 01/21/14 9:16 PM

MANILA -- Lipa City Archbishop Ramon Arguelles is now among the list of personalities who have visited former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.

Over ensaymada, pansit and tea, Arguelles and two other priests from Batangas discussed a wide range of issues -- from Church issues to politics -- with Arroyo.

Arroyo's chief of staff Raul Lambino, who was present during the meeting, confirmed that Arguelles and company arrived at exactly 5 p.m. and left at 6:30 p.m.

According to Lambino, Arguelles noted how Arroyo lost so much weight and expressed concern about her medical condition.

He also wished that her legal issues be resolved soon.

Lambino said the visits have "strengthened the spirit of GMA to fight for her right and to seek justice and finish the cases until the end."

"Masaya si GMA sa bumibista sa kaniya," Lambino said.

On Saturday, Arroyo was visited by former AFP chief of intelligence service Victor Corpus. Topacio acknowledged that visit.

"The unplanned gathering is but a continuation of the steady stream of well-wishers leading to VMMC these past months, the latest of whom are former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, former Army Colonel turned rebel Victor Corpuz, Constitutional Commissioner Fernando Pena and former Washington press attache Jose Ebron. All of them have expressed their concern over the health of the former President and have stated on record that they firmly believe that bail should be granted her," Topacio said.

Previously, Arroyo's critics including former presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada, Jesus is Lord leader Eddie Villanueva and Lingayen, Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz also paid her a visit.

On Monday, Ferdinand Topacio, spokesman and legal counsel of Arroyo's husband Mike, thanked Arroyo's supporters who held a prayer vigil over the weekend outside the VMMC.

"The former First Gentleman wishes to thank the more than 50 Facebook supporters of his wife, former President Gloria Arroyo, for taking the time and effort to hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) This spontaneous outpouring of support for Mrs. Arroyo by kind strangers, many of whom she has not even met personally, is truly heartwarming. Our family is truly grateful," Topacio said.

Arroyo is detained at the VMMC on a plunder charge over the alleged misuse of PCSO funds, following complications from a cervical spine surgery.