House hands off on Arroyo’s health woes-A A +A
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
HOUSE Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. refused Wednesday to comment on the medical condition of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is said to be needing treatment abroad.
“This is not for politicians like us to talk about whether a medical process is needed or not. So far, I have not really heard any single doctor say anything. It is just political leaders saying this and that,” Belmonte said in an ambush interview.
House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez earlier said that Dr. Robert Anastacio, a resident cardiologist at the Makati Medical Center (MMC), has suggested to the former President to consider a neuro-cervical surgery in New York.
Suarez, an Arroyo ally, also said that Anastacio has discovered a lump in Arroyo’s left breast.
“We are at a stage that the jurisdiction over her is with the courts,” Belmonte said, referring to the three hold departure orders (HDOs) issued against Arroyo.
An HDO was issued by the Pasay City Regional Trial Court in relation to the electoral sabotage case, where her petition for bail was earlier granted. Two more HDOs were issued by the Sandiganbayan over separate graft and plunder charges.
Arroyo is currently confined at the MMC.
Suarez said the House minority bloc is considering drafting a resolution asking the leadership “to help in the state of health of Congresswoman Arroyo to be given all possible assistance in terms of professional services here or abroad.”
“I think the resolution will also be supported by some members of the majority because this is a non-partisan issue. There is no political color except the health of a colleague,” he said.
Belmonte declined to comment on the resolution.
But as far as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is concerned, it would entail another tedious legal battle before the Pasay City court if the Arroyo camp would insist on her medical treatment abroad.
It was the Comelec that filed poll sabotage charges against Arroyo in connection with the 2007 elections late last year.
“As far as the Comelec is concerned, there is no reason for her to leave. They can just bring the equipment here at have her treated," Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said.
He said they simply cannot allow somebody facing a capital offense to leave the country. (Kathrina Alvarez/HDT/Sunnex)