MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary De Lima reminded former President turned Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that she is a detainee and therefore may not impose demands on proper authorities effecting her transfer from the St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig City to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City for her continued hospital arrest.
Speaking to reporters Friday afternoon, De Lima reacted to the exasperation of the Arroyo camp on the delays of the former chief executive's transfer.
"As a detainee, she cannot just be demanding all of this. Pinagbigyan na nga na ayusin muna nang husto yung kanyang kwarto, ayusin yung bathroom, at kung ano pa. Pinagbigyan na yun... Pati ba naman yan issue na naman?" De Lima said.
"Dyan sa usapin ng by what means or method she would be transferred, that's the discretion of the proper authorities, and the proper authorities here, aside from the court is yung... pinassist ng korte like the court," she added.
De Lima stressed the PNP does not have to wait for Arroyo to agree as to the mode of transportation or other arrangements for her transfer to VMMC.
"I don't think they (Arroyos) have that right to demand, and it's not accurate to say na kailangan mag agree muna kami, so if you don't agree, you cannot do that, hindi mo kami pwede pwersahin... teka muna, she's a detainee," De Lima said.
Rep. Arroyo has to abide by restrictions imposed on detainees, the justice chief stressed.
De Lima also defended the PNP for the alleged "delays," pointing out the fact that the Arroyo camp was never told about the time the transfer will be effected.
De Lima said there was nothing irregular about the actions of the PNP for as long as the Pasay Regional Trial Court's (RTC) order for Rep. Arroyo's transfer to the VMCC would be complied with within the day.
"Wala naman atang sinabing oras yung court kung anong oras ngayong araw ma-transfer, basta kailangan lang matransfer within the day... It can be early norning, it can be morning, noon, afternoon, or even early evening pero siyempre mas magada na huwag na hintayin yung gabi," she said.