Arroyo too ill to appear at Sandiganbayan arraignment – SuarezBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s arraignment has been scheduled for next week but House minority leader Danilo Suarez believes that she was still too ill to appear before the Sandiganbayan First Division.
In a press conference, he recalled seeing an even more frail Arroyo during his visit to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center where the Pampanga lawmaker is presently detained. He said that he chose not to ask for Arroyo’s weight but was sure just by seeing her “na lalong namayat (she lost a lot of weight).”
Arroyo is under hospital arrest at the VMMC for charges of plunder in connection with the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. She is set to be arraigned next Monday by the anti-graft court.
Suarez simply shrugged off recent calls to investigate Arroyo’s hand in the alleged misuse of P2.3 billion in profits from the Malampaya gas project. He insisted that the former President “had nothing to do with it.”
Mika Ortega, daughter of slain Palawan broadcaster Gerry Ortega, and Puerto Princesa Bishop Pedro Arigo have earlier urged the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to look into said anomaly, saying that Arroyo and Palawan officials should be charged with plunder.