Independent doctor to check on Arroyo's condition: Palace-A A +A
Saturday, August 18, 2012
FORMER President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's health condition needs to be verified by an independent doctor, Malacanang said Saturday.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, said that concerned government officials have to discuss yet on the "method of verification" regarding Arroyo's health.
"As already mentioned by (Budget) Secretary (Florencio) Butch Abad, that will have to be verified independently. So as to the mechanism of verification that will have to be discussed because in previous cases, (Health) Secretary (Enrique) Ona went to the former president," she said.
But Valte said she was not sure if it would again be Ona who will check on Arroyo's condition.
The Health chief had checked on Arroyo's health condition last year when her camp insisted that she had to travel abroad to seek medical assistance. But Ona found out that her condition was improving and she could even be treated in the country.
This time, Arroyo's cardiologist, Dr. Robert Anastacio, has said the former President remains in critical condition as she developed a "stoppage of flow of air to the lungs" and this should immediately be corrected. He has said that the congresswoman's heart and lungs could not function well if there is no sufficient air.
Anastacio has said that while there were good doctors here, there were no facilities needed for Arroyo's operation as these were only available in the United States and Austria.
Arroyo was rushed to the Makati Medical Center last Monday for a check-up after the titanium plate supporting her cervical spine was dislocated.
After a quantum scan performed on her, the cardiologist said there was "significant protrusion" not only of the titanium plate but also of the lower titanium plate toward the air and food pathway. With this, he said Arroyo's airway could collapse.
Despite being on temporary liberty following the Pasay City Regional Trial Court's granting of her bail petition, three hold departure orders (HDOs), however, were issued against the former leader.
The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan earlier issued two HDOs against Arroyo in relation to her graft and plunder charges, while the Pasay court has another one in connection to her election sabotage case.
Asked if Malacanang would oppose if the courts allowed Arroyo to travel abroad, Valte refused to answer it, saying it was speculative since the lawmaker's lawyers have not yet filed any petition before the courts.
"We have not received news of any moves by the camp of the former President to ask for travel authority...so let's wait first until they actually made a definitive move to ask for travel authority," she said.
As this developed, a party-list lawmaker said the "alarming trend" of allowing Arroyo and her alleged cohorts in the 2007 poll fraud case to post bail over weak evidence is a preview of the 2013 midterm polls.
Arroyo's fellow accused in the electoral sabotage charge, former poll chairman Benjamin Abalos, was freed Friday after posting P1 million bail. The court said evidence against Abalos is weak.
"The trend of setting election offenders free on grounds of weak evidence does not only reveal President (Benigno) Aquino and his government's direction in making Mrs. Gloria Arroyo and her cohorts accountable. It is also telling of what 2013 will bring," Gabriela party-list Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said in a statement.
Judge Jesus Mupas of Pasay RTC branch 112 allowed Abalos to post bail after the prosecution failed to establish the strong evidence of guilt of the former poll chair.
"With election fraud unpunished, the culture of impunity will prevail and the same practice will happen. People will have to be held accountable," Ilagan said in a text message.
The Gabriela lawmaker also slammed the government's filing of weak cases, saying it has no one else to blame but the prosecution’s incompetence and lack of readiness.
The Commission on Elections earlier said it was surprised with the Pasay court's decision allowing Abalos to post bail. (SDR/Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)