IMELDA VISITS AROYO: GLORIA'S CONDITION NOT HUMAN - IMELDA

JANUARY 22 - “So cruel, so unjust, not human.” This was how former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos described former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s condition at her detention suite at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City. True to her earlier promise, the former first lady took time off yesterday to visit Arroyo but the more than one hour hospital call had emotionally affected her. A lawyer for Arroyo said the family of the former President was so moved by Rep. Marcos’ show of compassion on her. Interviewed on Monday, Marcos noted that Arroyo is being held by government authorities despite the absence of conviction. Arroyo is facing a non-bailable plunder charge in connection with the alleged misuse of P366 million in confidential and intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. (Read related story on this spread.) ‘She’s In Serious Condition’ “There’s no conviction so why are they not releasing her? I feel sorry for this woman, how they are treating her,” she said.

EARLIER: Aquino no ill will towards Arroyo; No plans to visit Gloria in hospital—Palace exec

January 5, 2014 -PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has remained firm on his decision not to visit detained former president and now Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., however, said that the Palace respects those allies and critics of the former president who recently visited her at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City where she has been under hospital arrest. "‘Yun pong sinabi ng Pangulo ‘nung unang tinanong ‘yan, bandang Kapaskuhan, ay malinaw: Kinakailangan pong magkaroon ng pananagutan o accountability process... [Sabihin] na lang po natin na hindi po ‘yan prayoridad sa kasalukuyan," he said when asked if the President has any plan to visit Arroyo. While it was not a priority of the President to visit Arroyo, Coloma reiterated that the current government has no ill will toward her.

ALSO: Palace shrugs off possible impeachment case vs Aquino

MALACANANG on Wednesday shrugged off the possible impeachment complaint that could be initiated by Cavite Representative Lani Mercado, wife of Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., against President Benigno Aquino III. Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the filing of an impeachment complaint against the President was entirely up to Mercado's discretion. "Let's wait for the complaint to be filed and we will leave it with the House to decide on the matter as to the merits of an impeachment complaint, if any," he said in a press briefing. But "personally" and based on "a number of authorities," he said that there was no impeachable offense that Aquino committed when he talked with some senators, including Revilla, regarding the impeachment process of ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. "Whether Congresswoman Lani Mercado would pursue that, it's entirely up to her discretion, and whether the House as a body would agree, let them decide on the impeachment complaint," Lacierda said. He also refused to say if it would be morally right if Mercado would be the one to initiate the impeachment complaint against the President. "I think hindi ko masasagot kung ano ang magiging motivation ni Congresswoman [Mercado] or I am not in a position to judge whether it is moral or not," he said.

FROM Ellen Tordesillas' Blog: Liars all

They are all lying. Some of the details of each statement are true, some are false. Halftruths are lies. Aquino was never shy about his desire to remove Corona as part of his reform agenda. Corona’s ouster was a major achievement for him. Everybody knows they moved heaven and earth to get rid of Corona and the public applauded him for that. To say that Aquino did not meddle in the impeachment of Corona is a big lie. For Roxas to say that the meeting was not related to the Corona impeachment is a lie. Revilla is also lying when he said that his vote was about “doing what is right for the country.” He got his reward for his Corona vote for at least P50 million in the form of the Disbursement Acceleration Program. How did he spend that huge sum of money plus his other PDAF? Don’t BS us about “doing right for the country.” You are lining your pockets with our money. That’s not right for the country.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS:

Gloria’s condition not human – Imelda


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/files/2014/01/imelda-gloria.jpg
Imelda Marcos visits Arroyo

Former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos on Wednesday visited former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her hospital detention suite at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City. The former first lady was accompanied by her nurses and security men. She brought the ailing Arroyo a gift and a bouquet of red flowers. Last month, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada also visited Arroyo to give her his personal Christmas greetings. (Mary Rose A. Hogaza)

MANILA, JANUARY 27, 2014 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Ben Rosario- “So cruel, so unjust, not human.”

This was how former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos described former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s condition at her detention suite at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

“It is no longer a fight for justice, it’s a fight for life,” she stated as she assailed Arroyo’s hospital detention.

“What is worse is that she is only visited by her husband, children from the afternoon to nine o’clock (pm), then she has no one (to accompany her),” the former First Lady.

True to her earlier promise, the former first lady took time off yesterday to visit Arroyo but the more than one hour hospital call had emotionally affected her.

Visibly depressed at the House plenary hall after the visit, Rep. Marcos looked unsteady as she walked out of the session hall later on. She turned down a media interview but later relented.

‘I’m So Sad To Be There’

“I am so sorry, so sad to be there,” she told reporters as she was ushered to her car after a 15-minute stay at the Lower House plenary hall.

The Ilocos Norte lawmaker visited her detained colleague barely two days after telling reporters that she intended to look into Arroyo’s condition.

Filadelfo Diaz, Marcos’ chief of staff, said their party arrived at the VMMC at 3:15 p.m. and left just before 5 p.m.

Marcos brought a bouquet of roses, a boxed gift and red wine for the Pampanga lawmaker, Diaz said as he described the visit as “very amiable, like a meeting of friends who have not seen each other for a long while.”

A lawyer for Arroyo said the family of the former President was so moved by Rep. Marcos’ show of compassion on her.

Interviewed on Monday, Marcos noted that Arroyo is being held by government authorities despite the absence of conviction.

Arroyo is facing a non-bailable plunder charge in connection with the alleged misuse of P366 million in confidential and intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. (Read related story on this spread.)

‘She’s In Serious Condition’

“There’s no conviction so why are they not releasing her? I feel sorry for this woman, how they are treating her,” she said.

Marcos added: “She is just 70 pounds, she is in serious condition. I was told she could not even eat normally, that they have to grind her food.”

The Ilocos Norte lawmaker’s name usually crops up whenever the issue relating to Arroyo’s bail bid is raised in the media.

Rep. Marcos explained that this is in view of the fact that she played a major role when the then Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. appealed to the Marcos government to allow him to undergo heart bypass surgery in the United States.

“Ninoy was already convicted then. But in the case of Congresswoman Arroyo, court trial is still ongoing, she is being denied to fight for her life,” she stated.

Marcos then recounted that she hired a heart specialist to ensure Aquino’s safe arrival in the United States.

“I accompanied Ninoy to the airport and made sure that the senator has all that he needed” she recalled.

No Compassion

The former first lady lamented that Arroyo is not being given the same “compassionate” treatment by President Benigno S. Aquino III as she did to his father.

Marcos now joined the long line of former and incumbent political and religious leaders who have visited Arroyo and aired their concern over her health.

Former Presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Estrada, Archbishop Oscar Cruz, former Vice President Noli de Castro and evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva were among Arroyo’s guests in the past six weeks.

Citing the allegedly weak evidence presented against her by government prosecutors, the former President has asked the Sandiganbayan to reconsider its decision denying her bail.

EARLIER REPORTS FROM THE INQUIRER

Aquino no ill will towards Arroyo—Palace exec By Nestor Corrales INQUIRER.net 2:19 pm | Thursday, December 26th, 2013


Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and President Benigno Aquino III. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has no ill will towards former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Thursday.

“The President strongly believes that the law has to take its course and that accountability must be exacted. The President holds no ill will for the former President,” Coloma said in a televised press briefing.

Coloma made the statement amid calls that Aquino should visit Arroyo while she was under hospital arrest.
Coloma, however, kept mum wheteher the president has plans to visit Arroyo.

The Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Aquino should follow the examples of former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada who visited Arroyo.

Jaro, Iloilo Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said Aquino should consider checking on the condition of his predecessor.

Arroyo is under hospital arrest for charges of plunder in connection with the alleged misuse of the intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

FROM SUNSTAR ONLINE

Aquino remains firm not to visit Arroyo at VMMC 1 -AA+A Sunday, January 5, 2014

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has remained firm on his decision not to visit detained former president and now Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., however, said that the Palace respects those allies and critics of the former president who recently visited her at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City where she has been under hospital arrest.

"‘Yun pong sinabi ng Pangulo ‘nung unang tinanong ‘yan, bandang Kapaskuhan, ay malinaw: Kinakailangan pong magkaroon ng pananagutan o accountability process... [Sabihin] na lang po natin na hindi po ‘yan prayoridad sa kasalukuyan," he said when asked if the President has any plan to visit Arroyo.

While it was not a priority of the President to visit Arroyo, Coloma reiterated that the current government has no ill will toward her.

Former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and former President Fidel Ramos were among those who recently visited Arroyo at VMMC.

Estrada, however, reportedly said that he has no plan to form an alliance with Arroyo and Ramos who both belong to another political party.

"Kung ano po ang naging pahayag nila ay iginagalang po natin ang lahat ng mga nagpahayag na iyan. Pero sa amin po, hindi po yan ang prayoridad na pinag-uukulan ng pansin, sapagkat marami pong mahahalagang usapin sa ating bansa tulad po ‘nung agarang rehabilitasyon at rekonstruksyon para sa mga nasalanta ng kalamidad ng ‘Yolanda’ at sa Zamboanga, pati po doon sa Bohol earthquake at ‘yung ‘Santi’," Coloma said.

He also said the government is busy pursuing reforms and implementing the Philippine Development Plan.

Arroyo has been under hospital arrest since December 2011, on charges of electoral sabotage. She now faces plunder charges as well for her alleged involvement in the misuse of the intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office during her term. (SDR/Sunnex)

Palace shrugs off possible impeachment case vs Aquino ednesday, January 22, 2014

MALACANANG on Wednesday shrugged off the possible impeachment complaint that could be initiated by Cavite Representative Lani Mercado, wife of Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., against President Benigno Aquino III.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda (photo) said the filing of an impeachment complaint against the President was entirely up to Mercado's discretion.

"Let's wait for the complaint to be filed and we will leave it with the House to decide on the matter as to the merits of an impeachment complaint, if any," he said in a press briefing.

But "personally" and based on "a number of authorities," he said that there was no impeachable offense that Aquino committed when he talked with some senators, including Revilla, regarding the impeachment process of ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Revilla, in a privilege speech last Monday, said that Aquino tried to influence him to vote for Corona's impeachment during their meeting at Bahay Pangarap, the official residence of the President, during the height of the impeachment hearing against the then chief magistrate.

"Whether Congresswoman Lani Mercado would pursue that, it's entirely up to her discretion, and whether the House as a body would agree, let them decide on the impeachment complaint," Lacierda said.

He also refused to say if it would be morally right if Mercado would be the one to initiate the impeachment complaint against the President.

"I think hindi ko masasagot kung ano ang magiging motivation ni Congresswoman [Mercado] or I am not in a position to judge whether it is moral or not," he said.

Lacierda reiterated that the President move to talk to some senators, not only to Revilla, during Corona's impeachment hearing was to "put less pressure" on them after receiving intelligence reports that some groups were exerting efforts to influence the senator judges to exonerate the chief justice.

Aside from Revilla, the President admitted that he also talked with Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Teofisto Guingona III and Ralph Recto regarding Corona's impeachment.

Asked on the Palace's assessment on the reaction of the public between Aquino and Revilla and who could be more credible between the two, Lacierda initially refused to answer, saying it would be self-serving.

But later, he said, "As far as I am concerned, I trust my President, I approve my President, and this is my President. I will stand by my President."

On observations that the "attacks" against the President were the critics' way to discredit him, including whoever he would endorse for the 2016 elections, Lacierda cited that up to now, Aquino still enjoys "unprecedented" approval ratings.

"Way past midterm, his numbers are still in the 70s. If you look at other heads of states, past midterm, their numbers are already in the 40s. It shows that the President has the trust of the people, has the faith of the people, and has the people behind him," he said.

"And so, therefore, whoever the President will endorse… The power of the President’s endorsement is lethal. It is effective and that's the reason why the—whoever the President would anoint, would certainly have an advantage," Lacierda said.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, a former trial court judge, earlier said the President did not commit a crime if he just tried to influence the outcome of the impeachment trial, which is both legal and political. (SDR/Sunnex)

FROM THE BLOG OF ELLEN TORDESILLAS

Liars all


He is not the epitome of intelligence and good public service but his story about the breakfast meeting is revealing of Malacañang's methods under Aquino.

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., one of the three senators charged with plunder before the Ombudsman in connection with alleged anomalous use of Priority Development Assistance Fund, related Monday an incident that took place in December 2012, a few days before the conclusion of the impeachment of ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Revilla said Roxas, who was then secretary of Transportation and Communication, invited him to a morning meeting at his residence in Cubao. From there, they went to Malacañang’s Bahay Pangarap, Aquino’s residence, with Roxas driving the SUV and he was seated at the back seat.

Revilla said Roxas had the license plate of the SUV removed.

At Bahay Pangarap, they were joined first by and Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and later by President Aquino. They were served breakfast and he remembered everything on the table: pan de sal, kesong puti, egg, ham, dried beef, friend rice and fruits. The main fare was Corona.


There was no hiding his obsession against Corona.

Revilla said the President appealed to him: “Parang awa mo na, pare, balato mo sakin ito. Kelangan ko siyang ma-impeach.”

Abad, he said, chimed in: “Let’s help each other, Senator.”

He said he replied: “Mr. President, I will do what is right. I believe that we should fight for what is right, and I will do what is right for the country.”

Revilla was one of the 20 senators who voted “Guilty” to the charge of betrayal of public trust against Corona.
Aquino and Roxas both confirmed the meeting with Revilla but they had different versions of what took place in that meeting.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said the President denied having uttered the words, “balato mo sa akin ito…”

Coloma said, “The President met with Senator Revilla “to verify persistent reports that senators were being pressured by interest groups to influence the outcome of the [Corona] impeachment trial, and he asked the senator to decide the case on the basis of its merits.”


Boy Pick-up

Roxas also issued a statement: “Senator Bong and I used to be in the Senate together. So, when he said he had some issues to discuss with the President, which included the cityhood of Bacoor and his being head of the Lakas Party, I found a way to set up their meeting.

“At the time, the President was not in Malacañan and was at Bahay Pangarap. So as not to disrupt the detail of the PSG and so Senator Bong won’t be inconvenienced, I personally drove him to Bahay Pangarap.

“He lied when he said that I removed my license plate before we went to Bahay Pangarap. I really don’t use an official plate. It’s not attached to my vehicle. I use a regular plate issued by the LTO. The people who have known me for a long time know that I have never used the 8 plate when I was congressman, the 7 plate when I was Senator, or the 6 plate as Cabinet Secretary. I have never attached such plates to my car.”

They are all lying.

Some of the details of each statement are true, some are false. Halftruths are lies.

Aquino was never shy about his desire to remove Corona as part of his reform agenda. Corona’s ouster was a major achievement for him.

Everybody knows they moved heaven and earth to get rid of Corona and the public applauded him for that. To say that Aquino did not meddle in the impeachment of Corona is a big lie.

For Roxas to say that the meeting was not related to the Corona impeachment is a lie.

Revilla is also lying when he said that his vote was about “doing what is right for the country.”

He got his reward for his Corona vote for at least P50 million in the form of the Disbursement Acceleration Program.

How did he spend that huge sum of money plus his other PDAF?

Don’t BS us about “doing right for the country.”

You are lining your pockets with our money. That’s not right for the country.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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