AUGUST 6, 2006 (STAR) By Aurea Calica - President Arroyo is fine and can even take wine, contrary to reports that she is suffering from a "fatty liver" and needs to avoid alcohol and go on a diet.

Presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor also disclosed yesterday Mrs. Arroyo was fast returning to a "workaholic" schedule but has to watch herself and stick to a light schedule.

Defensor said Mrs. Arroyo and her husband, First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary at Malacañang Friday night with some Cabinet members. Their wedding anniversary was last Wednesday.

"She had a little wine after she ate pasta," Defensor told reporters.

Defensor said he also reminded Mrs. Arroyo that she should not take too much carbohydrates. But he stressed her diet remained normal.

Defensor said Mrs. Arroyo even kidded him that maybe he was the one telling the media stories about her health condition.

Defensor said the dinner did not last long as Mrs. Arroyo saw to it that she called it a day early enough.

The dinner also turned into a brief meeting as members of Task Force Lebanon, led by Vice President Noli de Castro, were present.

"They wish," Defensor said when pressed if Mrs. Arroyo got an ailment more serious than diarrhea and flu for which she was hospitalized in June and last month.

According to unconfirmed reports, said Mrs. Arroyo is suffering from fatty liver. The reports, quoting unnamed sources, said she was taking too much rich food.

"Those are not true," Defensor said.

Members of the opposition have been calling on Mrs. Arroyo to disclose the true status of her health after she was hospitalized twice in just over one month due to diarrhea and flu.

"Until now, they (opposition) would want to create problems by coming out with these rumors and gossip as they see the President having a solid foundation," he said.

Defensor said they just would no longer pay attention to the opposition’s new tack to destabilize the government and just keep doing their jobs.

"The President’s physicians gave her time to undergo an executive check-up sometime last quarter of this year. This is only an indication that there is really no urgency for the President to undergo a medical check up nor an executive check-up for that matter," he said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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