No extradition treaties with nations she'll visit
MANILA, Philippines - Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday expressed concern regarding the circumstances surrounding Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo planned overseas trip.
Lacson, in a press statement, said the countries that Arroyo plans to visit to reportedly seek medical treatment do not have extradition treaties with the Philippines.
He said the Arroyo camp has also not revealed which specific doctor that the former President will meet.
Citing his source in the Department of Justice, Lacson said a controversial Arroyo aide, Remedios Poblador, is part of her entourage.
"Isn't it suspicious that instead of strictly family members, it seems that she's bringing with her the whole 'secretariat?'" he asked.
Poblador, who served as Arroyo's secretary for special concerns while she was in Malacañang, was tagged in several issues during the previous administration.
According to Lacson, Poblador became controversial during the Arroyo administration when she allegedly offered money to "Hello Garci" witness Vidal Doble Jr. in exchange for his refusal to testify before a congressional inquiry into the scandal.
He also alleged that Poblador dispatched a government helicopter to bring then Balanga Bishop Socrates Villegas to bring Doble out of the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City at the height of the "Hello Garci" scandal in 2005.
"Doble had also testified before the Senate that Poblador was one of the personalities he saw at the quarters of then Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Efren Abu, where his wife and two children were 'detained,'" Lacson said.
He said Arroyo intends to go to Austria, Germany and Spain, which have no extradition treaties with Manila.
"She could not give details of the doctors she will consult with. What makes this more fishy is that of the 14 people in her entourage, most of them are aides," he said.