Lacierda says GMA camp trying to justify house arrest
Butch Abad calls allegations in column 'absurd'
MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Elena Bautista-Horn, a spokesperson for Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, revealed on Wednesday a possible threat on the life of the former President.
According to Horn, a source from a certain government agency talked to them a few days ago and told them about a so-called operation "Put the Little Girl to Sleep," being cooked allegedly by the Aquino administration.
“May mga nagsumbong na naman po sa amin na nasa administrasyon ngayon na may mga masamang balakin. Mayroon sila ngayong operation called ‘Put The Little Girl To Sleep.’ Ni-report na po sa amin ‘yan kaya kami ay nababahala kasi nakikita naman natin kung gaano ang insistence ni [Justice] Secretary [Leila] de Lima at [Comelec] Chairman [Sixto] Brillantes na ang dating Pangulo ay iligay sa government hospital,” said Horn.
According to their source, Mrs. Arroyo should be careful in the food being served and the medications being administered to her.
Horn said they consider the source as highly reliable that they decided to share the information to the media.
“Alam rin po natin na lumabas sa column ni Mon Tulfo na sinabi daw po ni Secretary Butch Abad na kung pababa-biyahihen si Mrs. Arroyo eh mabuti na daw na barilin siya sa tarmac. So napagtatagpi-tagpi namin ang storya na talagang parang may agenda na hindi maganda para sa dating pangulo,” she said.
They are unsure though if they should ask for added security from the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Arroyo lawyers are also discussing if they should raise the matter on Thursday at the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) hearing.
The Pasay RTC Branch 112 will hear on Thursday the motion requesting hospital arrest for Mrs. Arroyo, who was charged and arrested last November 18 for electoral sabotage of the 2007 elections.
Abad calls allegations 'absurd'
Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Butch Abad dismissed the allegations made by the Arroyo camp, calling it “absurd.”
“That is so absurd. Natatawa nga ako diyan eh. It’s a complete fabrication. It’s a sure sign of desperation. A futile scheme to distract people’s attention away from the serious charges of lying, cheating and stealing that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is currently trying to escape from,” Abad told ANC’s “Prime Time” on Wednesday.
Abad said the camp of Mrs. Arroyo has become “desperate” in trying to evade the charges against the former President.
“They’ve been trying all sorts of maneuvering and schemes, including lying to try and evade all these serious charges that people are waiting to her confront. To this day, they have not succeeded in confusing the people so now they are the ones who are confused,” Abad said.
“I think they ran out of medical and legal excuses to prevent Arroyo from being detained in a government hospital or any government facility where she belongs. That is the pure and simple reason,” he added.
Abad was mentioned by Ramon Tulfo in his November 21 column published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer as the one who allegedly said “Why don’t we just shoot her at the tarmac?” which recalls the assassination of Senator Ninoy Aquino at the airport tarmac in August 1983.
Tulfo wrote that Abad allegedly made the remark during a meeting President Benigno Aquino III had with his Cabinet to discuss the government’s actions on the plans of Mrs. Arroyo and her husband to leave the country.
Abad also described the article as absurd, saying “there is no point dignifying those statements.”
“We have better things to do at the DBM [Department of Budget and Management] than to pay attention to those absurdities,” he said.
Palace says it's a complete fabrication
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Wednesday also denied the allegations made by Arroyo’s camp, saying it is a merely a plot to convince the public that hospital arrest is not suitable for the former President.
“This a product of small minds. It’s practically a complete fabrication. They have tried everything to pique sympathy from the public from crying in front of the media, to saying that the President has a life-threatening condition. Now they’re saying that her life is being threatened. So many lies have been thrown by her spokesperson to the public. The public is sick and tired of their lies. They don’t believe the camp of Arroyo anymore,” he told ANC.
Lacierda said the Aquino administration wants Mrs. Arroyo to face the charges of electoral sabotage filed against her.
“We want her to face the trial, we want her to be accountable. We do not want her to go the easy way out,” -- with ANC