Last Tuesday, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said that it would be a challenge in the court for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s fresh bid to seek medical treatment abroad, citing her tendency to “amplify” her health condition.
It was said and stressed by COMELEC Chair, Sixto Brillantes Jr., which was very risky for Arroyo to be allowed to leave the country since she is currently detained at Veterans Memorial Medical Center on charges of electoral sabotage.
“We don’t want to allow her again this time because she used to say that before and it turned out that she can be treated by our doctors here,” Brillantes told the reporters last Tuesday in a telephone interview.
Brillantes was referring to Arroyo’s previous attempt to leave the country supposedly for treatment of a rare bone disease. Also he said that the electoral sabotage was a capital offense so Arroyo could not just be allowed to simply leave the country. He said foreign doctors should instead be brought to the country to examine her.
Conceding that the Pasay City Regional Trial Court of trying the case against Arroyo has the final say on the issue, he said that the COMELEC would “ask for verification and check up on her true condition.”
Previously, a source coming from a close person to the Arroyo family said that the former President, who is now a representative of her hometown in Pampanga, was facing a “life-threatening condition” due to complications arising from her earlier surgery to treat her neck ailment.
On Thursday, Arroyo decided to undergo the Quantum electrochemistry examination at Makati Medical Center after experiencing choking sensations and shortness of breath.
A doctor present during the examination has said that a corrective surgery had to be done abroad as “no doctor would touch her here because of her delicate medical situation.”
A close Arroyo ally, House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, said that the former President had to seek medical treatment abroad because no Filipino doctor was willing to perform a surgery for her.
“They are hesitant because they are afraid that this might lead to her death. They know that she has a very rare ailment,” Suarez said in an interview with reporters.
He said Arroyo had identified medical experts abroad who were willing to perform the delicate surgery. He said the minority bloc would file a resolution appealing to President Aquino to allow Arroyo to leave.
He said the minority would use as a precedent the decision of then President Ferdinand Marcos to allow Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, the current President’s father who was under detention, to seek medical treatment abroad for his heart ailment.
“Why was Ninoy allowed to get treatment in the US when there are heart specialists in the country?” asked Suarez. “I think the President will consider our request because his only condition was if GMA (Arroyo) would return to which we have no doubts.”