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Detained former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo attended the burial of her brother at Heritage Park on Saturday after the antigraft court granted her a five-hour furlough.

Arroyo, escorted by police, arrived shortly before 10 a.m.

Larry Gadon, a lawyer for Arroyo, told reporters she attended the necrological Mass then had lunch with family members and close associates.

Her convoy left shortly after 2 p.m. to take her back to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center where she has been detained since 2012 on plunder charges.

Arturo Macapagal, 72, a sharpshooter and two-time Olympian, died Tuesday morning after a bout with prostate cancer.

Mourners, many of them wearing white, began arriving at the cemetery between 10 and 11 a.m.

Media vehicles trailing Arroyo’s convoy from VMMC were stopped at the entrance. The media were ushered to a tent put up outside the cemetery entrance on C-5 Road.

Arroyo’s husband, Jose Miguel, and her sons, Dato and Mikey, were in attendance.

According to Gadon, “There were also many former officials like (former) senator Heherson Alvarez…and (then President Arroyo’s) officials like Nitoy Roque. He said no incumbent Cabinet official was present in the chapel as of press time.

Asked about the Sandiganbayan’s reported refusal to allow Arroyo to attend the traditional pasiyam (ninth day) on Aug. 19 in Pasig, Gadon said: “But maybe it’s possible…(for) a motion for reconsideration (to be) filed (by her other lawyers)…that’s still being studied. Hopefully, the court will allow it. Because you know Filipino culture, that even the pasiyam should be attended by (Arroyo),” he said.

Arturo was the second child and elder son of the late President Diosdado Macapagal with the latter’s first wife Purita de la Rosa. Purita died when Art was a year old. The eldest child is Cielo Macapagal-Salgado, who was vice governor of Pampanga from 1989 to 1992 and from 1995 to 1998.

He was married to Ma. Therese Jalandoni, who hails from Iloilo. They have three children—Andrei, Alex, Ma. Elizabeth.

Philippine Daily Inquirer
by Kristine Felisse Mangunay
August 16, 2015