Priest says GMA doesn't deserve cruel treatment

by Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2011 08:00 PM | Updated as of Nov 24 2011 04:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Friends of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday continued to arrive at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig.

One of them is Fr. Eliseo "Jun" Mercado, a priest from Cotabato who was previously involved in the peace process during the Arroyo administration.

Mercado said the former president looked very ill and has lost a lot of weight. He said Arroyo told him she was advised by the doctors to have bed rest for 48 hours.

The prelate said he believes the former president does not deserve to be treated "cruelly," citing how some people are accusing Arroyo of merely pretending to be ill.

He said Arroyo told him that the Aquino administration "seems to be fixating on her."

Currently, Arroyo is facing several cases, among them the electoral sabotage case filed at the Pasay regional trial court and plunder cases at the Ombudsman.

Relatives of 15 Maguindanao massacre victims have also filed a civil case against Arroyo, asking for P15 million in damages.

Mercado said he believes the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is the primary perpetrator in both the electoral fraud issue and the Maguindanao massacre.

He said he believes former Maguindanao administrator Nori Unas and former Comelec election officer Lintang Bedol are the primary culprits in the election fraud.

He said it is also the Comelec's fault that the Maguindanao massacre occurred because the local Comelec office in Cotabato was closed, forcing the Mangudadatus to file their certificate of candidacy in Shariff Aguak.

Mercado said the former president asked for prayers and he simply advised her to look at the cross and have faith.