MANILA, Philippines - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo herself manifested to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima that she will return to face the charges in the country after her trip abroad, her spokesperson said.
Arroyo’s chief of staff, Elena Bautista Horn, told abs-cbnNEWS.com all the requirements that the government sought were submitted, including a notarized letter of undertaking that the former president will come back to face all charges lodged against her.
Arroyo is seeking a “metabolic bone biopsy,” which is only available abroad, she said.
On Thursday, de Lima said she is deferring her decision on the request of Arroyo to seek medical treatment in a foreign country because of apprehensions she and her husband, Mike, might not return.
“We received certain information about the real agenda and the real intent of the former First Couple in leaving the country,” she told reporters in a briefing.
In a separate interview with radio dzMM, Horn stressed anew that they are now studying the legal aspect of the issue.
“We did not entertain this thought before. We just submitted all the requirements they needed, [but now they’re forcing us],” she said.
Horn added, “it’s like they’re already saying that she’s guilty, when not a single case has been filed.”
She said the current administration is just bent on having Arroyo placed behind bars before their December deadline, as was implied by the taskforce prosecuting her. “That can’t happen because no case has been filed yet.”
She stressed the Aquino government owes it to former President Corazon Aquino to respect the Constitution. “They owe it to [the former President] who crafted the Constitution that the right of the citizens should be upheld.”
What is urgent?
She also lambasted Malacanang’s concept of “urgency.” She claimed Arroyo needs to go abroad to have her parathyroid glands corrected, which is a very difficult process.
She said the parathyroid glands dictate where the minerals and vitamins go to different parts of the body.
De Lima said Arroyo’s condition is already improving, based on a report by Health Secretary Enrique Ona. “Therefore, there seems to be no immediate necessity at this point for us to grant the request,” de Lima has said.
Horn, however, said: “Does urgency mean to them that the patient is already dying?”
She added Ona is not a specialist to know Arroyo’s “metabolic bone disorder.”
She stressed, however, “why do we have to justify everything…what is important here is life…you don’t negotiate when life is already the issue.”
She stressed President Aquino’s mother herself was given the help by the Arroyo administration when she needed it the most, sans any questions.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview with dzRB that the 2 cases should not be compared.
“Siguro po, ‘wag na ho nating idamay ‘yung mga namayapa [na] kung ano pa hong isyu ngayon ‘yung namumutawi sa mga isipan po ng ating mga kababayan at hintayin na lang po natin ‘yung magiging desisyon,” she said.
She added it will only be a matter of days before de Lima finally decides on Arroyo’s request. “Let’s just wait for [de Lima] when she comes back from abroad.”