Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo back to St. Luke’s, now on gov’t watch list
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was placed Tuesday on the Bureau of Immigration watch list by the Department of Justice (DOJ) because of plunder complaints filed against her.
Copies of Watch List Order No. 2011-422, signed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, were distributed to the media at around 6 p.m.
Gloria Arroyo was discharged from the hospital over the last weekend, but Tuesday she was brought back to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City.
The titanium plate connecting four levels of her spine on Arroyo’s neck had been dislodged requiring another surgery to fix the metal implant, said her physician, Juliet Gopez-Cervantes.
Last week, Arroyo’s husband, Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, was placed on the watch list upon the request of the Senate blue ribbon committee.
Mike Arroyo has been implicated in the sale of two helicopters passed off as brand new to the Philippine National Police in 2009.
De Lima had deferred placing the former President, now a Pampanga representative, on the watch list on humanitarian grounds when she underwent neck surgery on July 29.
Cervantes said the operation was scheduled for Wednesday.
Valid for 60 days
The watch list order is valid for 60 days from issuance “unless sooner terminated or extended.”
De Lima earlier explained that the order was not an injunction against a person’s right to travel.
A person on the list is only required to explain and justify this travel to the DOJ.
“Pursuant to Section 2(c) of Department Circular No. 41 dated May 25, 2010 (Consolidated Rules and Regulations Governing the Issuance and Implementation of Hold Departure Orders, Watch List Orders and Allow Departure Orders), the undersigned hereby motu proprio issues a Watch List Order against Gloria M. Macapagal-Arroyo,” De Lima’s order read.
“Accordingly, the Commissioner of Immigration, Manila, is hereby ordered to include in the Bureau of Immigration’s Watch list the name of Gloria M. Macapagal-Arroyo,” the order read.
De Lima said she issued the order because of the three plunder complaints against Arroyo that were filed in the DOJ.
The plunder cases include the one filed by Danilo Lihaylihay for the alleged nonremittance of capital gains tax by the government to the national treasury for the sale of the old Iloilo airport.
Former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez also filed two cases against Arroyo. One was for the alleged anomalous transfer of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration funds to PhilHealth and another for the alleged misuse of fertilizer funds in Arroyo’s presidential campaign in 2004.
Arroyo is also facing plunder charges in the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged misuse of P325 million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office during her term.
The medical team attending to Arroyo was investigating how the implant was displaced.
The emergency reconstructive surgery on Arroyo’s neck was scheduled this morning, Cervantes told reporters Tuesday night.
Arroyo was scheduled for a checkup at noon Tuesday, but because of the pain she initially felt in her right upper arm, the former president went to St. Luke’s Medical Center earlier than her appointment, Cervantes said.
When the pain developed in her left arm, doctors evaluated her again, and tests showed the implant had been dislodged, the doctor said.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with the latter being the highest, Cervantes described the pain Arroyo felt as “between 8 and 10.”
Overall, the former President was “fine,” the doctor said.
Cervantes reiterated how delicate the surgery would be, pointing out that “the next surgery is more difficult.
“In any surgical procedure, the second one is more difficult, especially if it’s at the level of the neck,” she said. “So we’re asking everybody, whatever your side is, to help us pray.”
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