MANILA, Philippines - Former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was rushed to the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City after visiting her congressional district yesterday afternoon, her spokesperson said.
Maite Defensor said she just learned about it when she was monitoring the congresswoman’s location after her visit in Pampanga.
“I still have to check the reasons,” Defensor said, although Arroyo’s brother-in-law Rep. Ignacio Arroyo said it might be due to hypertension.
Last month Arroyo was confined briefly in the same hospital for treatment of a pinched nerve in her spine.
Members of the Arroyo clan in the House of Representatives yesterday snubbed the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Aquino, who presented a litany of misdeeds committed by the previous administration.
Pampanga Rep. Arroyo sought comfort in the company of her constituents in her district.
Arroyo attended the opening of the second regular session of the 15th Congress in the morning and attended a closed-door meeting of the House minority bloc at noon.
She, however, twice avoided questions from journalists on the SONA. “We have a spokesman,” Arroyo said while waving to reporters.
The former president left the House and went to her district in Lubao, Pampanga after attending the meeting with her colleagues in the opposition in their office at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City.
“She will be more productive attending barangay meetings than listening to a litany of baseless allegations against her,” said her legal spokesman lawyer Raul Lambino.
Her spokesperson, Maite Defensor, said Arroyo would be attending barangay meetings in her district. Last year, she also did not attend Aquino’s first SONA.
Arroyo’s sons, Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo and Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo, and her brother-in-law Negros Occidental Rep. Iggy Arroyo also attended the morning session but indicated to reporters that they were not attending the SONA.
They said they expected to be humiliated and vilified by Aquino in his SONA.
However, the President was not as blunt as in his previous speeches in hitting his predecessor in his SONA yesterday.
“We’re only human. Why would we attend the SONA when my mother and her administration will again be the agenda? I hope you understand,” Mikey told reporters.
“It’s also hard that the President will use the SONA which is supposed to be an occasion to call for unity, to lambast my mother,” he said.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue had filed tax evasion charges against Mikey and his wife.
On the other hand, Dato said he has a scheduled flight in the afternoon to his province where he will attend a fiesta celebration at an undisclosed locality.
He, however, lamented the continued attacks against his family.
“The allegations are always the same. It’s been over a year but we’re still in their agenda,” Dato said.
Iggy said it would be “more improper” if he walks out in the middle of Aquino’s speech when he starts blaming the Arroyo government for the problems faced by his administration.
Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said the opposition bloc attended the SONA to put on a brave front even if they are few in the chamber and many are being persecuted.
New plunder raps against GMA
Akbayan party-list lawmakers would file today a plunder complaint against Arroyo at the Office of the Ombudsman over the alleged misuse of some P325 million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello said while Bayan Muna lawmakers already filed a similar complaint against Arroyo, nothing prevents them from doing the same thing.
“There are points in the (two complaints) that may be similar but there are also new key points that we are going to raise,” Bello said. Other complainants were Akbayan Rep. Arlene Bag-ao and retired general Danilo Lim.
Included as respondents were former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte, former Commission on Audit commissioner Reynaldo Villar, and former executive secretary Eduardo Ermita.
This would be the fifth plunder complaint to be filed against Arroyo and other officials of the previous administration.
Earlier, plunder complaints were filed against Arroyo, one for the irregular sale of an airport property in Iloilo, her involvement in the P728-fertilizer fund scam; and also on the misuse of funds of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
Arroyo’s lawyer Lambino maintained that the allegations were baseless and malicious and said the move was being orchestrated by Malacañang.
“Akbayan and Bayan Muna, two left-leaning party-lists, are trying to outdo each other by engaging in bizarre political stunts and gimmickry at the expense of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” Lambino said.
“Just like their patron in Malacañang, they resort to political propaganda over the media to advance their respective agendas by incessant shame campaign and vilification against her that they can’t prove in the impartial courts for lack of solid evidence to support their case, they resort to a trial and condemnation by publicity against her,” he said.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
GMA rushed to hospital