MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will ask the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) to independently validate the medical condition of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said allowing Arroyo to seek medical treatment abroad is at the discretion of the presiding judge.
Brillantes says the Arroyo camp must first file a petition before the court to allow her to travel, with an attached medical report.
“I have always been consistent, this is generally left to the option or discretion of the judge. If they say medical services cannot be done in this country, we will oppose. Narinig ko ang statements from PMA [Philippine Medical Association] na imposibleng ‘di kaya rito kung kaya sa ibang countries,” Brillantes said.
“Get second opinion from government private doctors para makita natin,” he added.
Brillantes says Comelec will oppose such a petition and seek an independent validation of the medical condition of Arroyo.
Brillantes points out that Arroyo was unwell when she was in detention and now that she's free, she's doing better.
“Minsan magaling na tapos ‘di magaling tapos masama na naman. Magaling na siya paglabas niya dati may sakit,” he said.
The pre-trial of the electoral sabotage case against Arroyo started Thursday at the Pasay RTC, which allowed Arroyo and former Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos to post bail.
The Pasay RTC has not resolved the Comelec's appeal of its decision to allow Arroyo to post bail. The defense has not presented witnesses.
"They're not supposed to. Strategy is they keep listening, tama naman iyon, depensa sila what they did in bail hearing they never presented a witness,” said Brillantes.
Aside from the Pasay RTC, Arroyo faces 2 cases at the ant-graft court Sandiganbayan--one for graft in connection with the NBN-ZTE deal, and another for plunder in connection with the alleged misuse of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds.
Arroyo has not acted on doctors' recommendation to have her displaced cervical implants treated overseas.