Arroyo no longer ill, says hospital director
Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is no longer ill and does not need another surgery, said an official of Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) where she is detained on charges of electoral sabotage, a nonbailable offense.
“Our medical team has not made any recommendation for a new surgery. The former President is stable and she has no active medical problem,” Dr. Nona Legaspi, VMMC director, said Wednesday.
Legaspi said Arroyo would not undergo another operation for her bone ailment.
The VMMC director made the statement following reports that Arroyo would undergo another surgery supposedly based on the recommendation of her private doctors.
Arroyo’s congressional ally and spokesperson said that a doctor had ruled out a fourth surgery, a development which has sparked renewed calls for her immediate transfer to a jail cell from her hospital suite.
“The doctor, however, was not satisfied with how her cervical spine has been healing from her previous operations. She needs more time to recuperate,” said Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez.
Suarez said Arroyo’s physician at VMMC, a distant relative, did not recommend surgery after a routine checkup Wednesday.
Arroyo spokesperson, Elena Bautista-Horn, said that while there was no need to go under the knife again since the former President’s last surgery in August, she was going through physical therapy sessions every day.
Legaspi said that she had been informed of the visit of Arroyo’s private doctor before Christmas.
“We were aware of the visit because our doctor was with him and there was no discussion of a new surgery,” she said.
Legaspi added that a doctor on the medical team assigned to Arroyo was visiting her regularly.
“She is a part of the doctor’s rounds and she is visited every time,” the VMMC official said.
Legaspi said the hospital could not say how long Arroyo would stay at VMMC.
“We are just following court orders. We cannot say how long she will stay and when she can leave,” she said.
With her doctors dousing speculation that Arroyo needed to undergo another surgery, militant lawmakers said there was no reason for the Pampanga lawmaker to stay a day longer in a hospital suite.
Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro Casiño said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima should immediately file in the Pasay City Regional Trial Court a motion seeking Arroyo’s immediate transfer to a regular jail facility.
“She (Arroyo) can arrange for regular visits from her doctor in her cell,” Casiño said in a text message.
Akbayan Representative Walden Bello said that while Arroyo should be given due consideration befitting her status as a former President, she should still be detained in a regular cell.
“The specific conditions should be regular detention, or loss of freedom of physical movement,” Bello said.
Arroyo attempted to fly out of the country last November to visit medical specialists abroad after securing a temporary restraining order (TRO) on her travel ban issued by the Bureau of Immigration.
But she was foiled when De Lima insisted that the TRO was defective and that she should remain in the country to face trial for electoral sabotage and plunder.
Arroyo was placed under arrest and has been staying at VMMC since last month.
Originally posted at 07:19 pm | Wednesday, January 11, 2012
News handpicked by our editors
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.