Arroyo discharged from hospital | Inquirer News

Arroyo discharged from hospital

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 12:52 AM August 06, 2011

Under doctors’ orders to keep quiet, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was discharged from the hospital Friday, a week after undergoing surgery while facing charges for her alleged sins while in Malacañang.

Smiling but—according to her lawyer—still “suffering from inside,” Arroyo insisted on getting off the wheelchair and walking upon reaching the ground  floor on her way out of  St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City.


“She walked when she got off the elevator. She said, ‘I want to walk,’” said Raul Lambino, Arroyo’s legal spokesperson, who saw her off at the hospital.

He likened her voice to almost a whisper.


Arroyo’s group did not want to pass through the lobby, “but I said to her ‘it would be nice to show that you are well,” Lambino told reporters minutes after the Pampanga lawmaker motored off to her La Vista home in Quezon City.

In a floral house dress and maroon shawl, Arroyo was still wearing a neck brace on leaving the hospital.  She smiled and waved to hospital staff before boarding her white Mercedes Benz en route home.

No letup

Lambino said the “fabricated” charges filed against Arroyo had taken a toll on her and exposed the former first couple to “trial by publicity.”

“While she is not saying that, you can really feel it, that she is suffering from inside for all these malicious allegations,” the lawyer said.

“I can say that it is contributory to the stress factor that she is now bearing, considering that there has been no letup… of incessant attacks coming from the Palace,” he added.

Rest vocal chords


Lambino said Arroyo’s daughter Luli and son Dato were at the hospital when the former President checked out but they took separate vehicles when they left.

Doctors have ordered Arroyo to continue recuperating at home for at least a month so she can completely heal from her surgery, which realigned a portion of her spine afflicted with an age-related bone condition called cervical spondylosis.

Arroyo was also asked to rest her voice for at least a week as her vocal chords were strained because of excessive use, doctors said. But this had nothing to do with the surgery.

“She’s been asked to rest her vocal chords because it’s been swollen after she started receiving visitors two days ago,” said Dr. Juliet Gopez-Cervantes, Arroyo’s main attending physician.

Soft diet

After restrictions on contact with people following her surgery, doctors on Wednesday allowed Arroyo to again start receiving visitors, use her mobile phone, watch television and read newspapers.

“For the past three days from surgery, she was doing well with her voice intact, until we gave her the go signal to accept visitors and talk over the phone, after which her voice became hoarse,” Cervantes said.

She was also put on a soft diet and advised to stay away from food that is difficult to swallow.

Before leaving the hospital, however, she had corned beef, sunny side up (fried egg) and fried rice for breakfast.

Questionable timing

While healing, the 64-year-old former Chief Executive was slapped with several plunder and graft cases.

Lambino said Arroyo was especially hurt upon learning about the apparent suicide of Benjamin Pinpin, an assistant chief legal counsel at the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), who was said to be a lead witness in an investigation about behest loans during the Arroyo administration.

Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines national secretariat for  social action, questioned the timing of Arroyo’s voice loss following her surgery.

“Is she that lucky because she lost her voice or is this maybe a way to preclude her from appearing before the Senate to talk about what she knows?” Gariguez said over Church-run Radio Veritas.

HK medical checkup

Gariguez also questioned the timing of former first gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo’s medical checkup in Hong Kong  amid a Senate inquiry into the alleged sale of his two used helicopters that were sold to the Philippine National Police in 2009 as brand new.

“Is this deliberate or just coincidental with the investigation?” Gariguez said.  “It’s really suspicious because this is not the first time… an illness should not always be an excuse to evade investigation.”  With a report from Jocelyn R. Uy

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

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.

TAGS: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Government, Graft and Corruption, Health, Politics
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.