Palace on GMA US trip: It's up to Sandiganbayan

Posted at 08/15/12 9:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang reiterated Wednesday that it is up to the Sandiganbayan if it will allow former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to travel abroad to seek medical treatment despite pending graft and plunder charges against her.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte issued the following statement when asked about a news report that Mrs. Arroyo was recommended by her doctor to seek a second opinion on her spine ailment from experts abroad.

"Bahala na po ang Sandiganbayang magdesisyon kung sakaling gumawa ng ganitong hakbang ang mga abogado ni [former president Arroyo] dahil merong hold departure order laban sa kanya," she said.

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez on Tuesday said Mrs. Arroyo should go abroad to seek a "second opinion" from specialists on her ailments.

Suarez quoted Dr. Roberto Anastacio, Arroyo's doctor at the Makati Medical Center (MMC), as saying a "neuro-cervical" doctor based in New York could examine the former president and be in a better position to recommend the appropriate medical intervention for her ailments.

Suarez also revealed that doctors had found a lump on Arroyo's left breast that needs further examination.