Arroyo lawyer to JV Ejercito on travel issue: Butt out
The lawyer of Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Sunday advised San Juan Representative Joseph Victor Ejercito to “shut up” on the topic of whether or not the former president should be allowed to seek medical treatment abroad.
“JV has a short memory and mind. He should be reminded that his father, (former President Joseph Estrada) who was already then detained, was allowed by GMA (Arroyo) to have his knees repaired in Hong Kong, though many local doctors were undeniably available and capable of performing the operation here. Nobody demanded that Erap (Estrada) bring in his doctors from abroad and have the procedure performed here instead,” said Raul Lambino in a text message.
Estrada was allowed out of jail to fly to Hong Kong in December 2004 for a knee operation. Convicted of plunder, he was granted a pardon in 2007 by Arroyo, his vice president who joined a people’s power protest that unseated him.
Ejercito, however, retorted that unlike Arroyo, his father was not a “flight risk” as he had no plans of evading the plunder charges filed against him.
Ejercito said that Arroyo, on the other hand, may not return to the country “because she fears spending time in jail” for the charges of plunder and electoral fraud lodged against her.
“It would be a nightmare for the Aquino administration if Arroyo refuses to come back,” Ejercito said.
Taking on Ejercito, Lambino challenged the lawmaker and others opposed to Arroyo’s travel request to look for medical experts and bring them to the Philippines to look into Arroyo’s hypoparathyroidism, a condition marked by an acute underproduction of calcium and phosphorous minerals in her body.
“JV and other political critics should shut up and not ride on the matter to advance their respective political agendas. Everytime he (Ejercito) opens his mouth, his feet are stuck in it.”
Shrugging off the many statements made by the Arroyo camp and its supporters, Malacañang on Sunday advised them to just wait for the decision of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima this week.
“It’s just a matter of days before Secretary De Lima would give her decision on the request for an allow departure order for Representative Arroyo,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
Asked to comment on the reminder of Ms. Arroyo’s spokesperson, Elena Bautista-Horn, that the Arroyo administration had been considerate to the request for the immediate release of medical equipment from a customs warehouse for the then ailing former President Corazon Aquino, Valte said the information was something personal to the Aquino family and “we respect the privacy of the Aquino family.”
Valte also said there was “no comparison” between the situation then of Aquino, who succumbed to colon cancer two years ago, and that of Arroyo, who is now seeking treatment for a spine problem. With a report from Christine Avendaño
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