‘Gloria Arroyo must first prove she’s really ill’
A son of former President Joseph Estrada wants former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to first prove her worsening health condition in a public appearance before seeking medical treatment abroad.
“I am supportive of her plan to seek medical treatment abroad and I wish her all the luck, but she should at least appear in public for a photo-op before leaving the country,” San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito told reporters in a text message. “The people should be given the chance to see her and participate on the judgment for her treatment abroad.”
Ejercito called attention to conflicting reports on the true state of the now Pampanga lawmaker’s health which he claimed prompted suspicion that Arroyo was only feigning illness in order to leave the country as cases for plunder and election fraud against her piled up.
Ejercito said it was about time that Arroyo showed herself, noting that she had stayed in her Quezon City residence since last month and away from the public eye.
Arroyo’s brother-in-law, Negros Oriental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo and staunch ally Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez claimed that the former President had lost much weight since her surgery last month and that she needed medical help from specialists abroad to cure her illness.
But the former president’s doctors gave a positive report after her check-up last week.
Physicians at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City stated in a recent medical bulletin: “The former president has had remarkable improvements on her neurologic status. She no longer suffers from neck pain, shooting pain through arms and hand, feels no more weakness or numbness in her upper extremities, her original complaints before surgery.
“The latest X-ray results showed that the implant device is stable, there is no loosening, dislodgement or interruption of the implant. The alignment of the cervical spine has been stable since the former president’s last surgery.”
Arroyo’s husband, Juan Miguel Arroyo, insisted that she still needed to travel to Germany to get treatment for her illness, diagnosed as hypoparathyroidism, which leads to low levels of calcium.
The Department of Justice has placed Arroyo under its travel watch list after several plunder cases were filed against her. It said it planned to extend the tight travel monitoring beyond the Nov. 5 deadline after a joint DOJ-Commission on Elections panel recommended that she be included in the preliminary investigation for alleged electoral sabotage in the 2007 polls.
Also on Sunday, Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said that it was up to the courts to determine the guilt if any of the former president and others accused of conspiring to commit fraud during the 2004 and 2007 elections.
Brillantes was reacting to a challenge from Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. that the Aquino administration must ensure conviction of Arroyo in the very first case filed against her.
Belmonte said the process should not be rushed if only to comply with President Aquino’s earlier declaration that cases against his predecessor would be filed by November.
“We can’t be sure that they will be found guilty because the finding of guilt lies with the court. The task of the DOJ-Comelec joint panel is to establish substantial evidence sufficient to file in court,” Brillantes told reporters.