Imelda Marcos gives up on UN MDG summit

By Lynda Jumilla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2010 07:57 PM | Updated as of Sep 21 2010 06:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos has thrown in the towel in her fight to be allowed to attend the United Nations summit on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) this week.

The wife of former strongman Ferdinand Marcos said she was not allowed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) from going on an official mission in her capacity as chairperson of the House special committee on MDGs.

She said the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court and the House secretary-general had given her the green light to attend the UN summit to be held in New York City on September 20-22.

Marcos said the DFA questioned her lack of official permission from Malacañang to attend the gathering.

She said she will not question the government's decision.

"It's a matter of respect. Let's respect the President's decision," she said.

She admitted she had prepared for the trip.

"I was going there on my own personal money and not on government expense. Nang pumunta kami sa DFA, sabi hintayin daw ang go-signal from Malacañang," she said.

Marcos, however, downplayed speculations that the Palace did not want her to share the stage with President Benigno Aquino III.

"Who can steal the limelight naman from the President?" she pointed out.

She also downplayed reports that former President and now-Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will also be in New York this week. "Siguro dahil siya ex-President, ako ex-First Lady lang," she said.