I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.– US President George W. Bush
“A person’s life is at stake here and all we are just asking is a little consideration. Why should we have to explain everything and justify the need to travel for medical reasons? They (Department of Justice [DOJ])) have been asking so many documents and we have been complying even beyond what was required of the DOJ watch-list order. We are not complaining about that,” Mrs. Arroyo’s spokesgirl, Ma. Elena Bautista-Horn, complained.
Elena ain’t lying; they have really been over-complying. They submitted not just one but three separate requests to travel, each with a different itinerary and purpose, two of which actually undermined their claim that Gloria is very sick. They also concocted more than three variations of Mrs. Arroyo’s health condition.
Not long after her surgery, Mrs. Arroyo said complications from the titanium inserts in her neck might require corrective surgery abroad. Unfortunately, the corrective surgeries had to be done here because travel would only aggravate her condition. Fortunately, her surgeon was able to fix the problem. Unfortunately, that did not help solve Mrs. Arroyo’s other pain in the neck: her pending arraignment for capital crimes. (Note: Mrs. Arroyo has to leave before her case goes to court because if she flees after arraignment that will mean a waiver of her constitutional right to face her accusers. She can then be tagged a fugitive and tried in absentia.)
A new medical drama was rustled up. They said Gloria’s doctors suddenly discovered that she had a rare life-threatening disease. They claimed the disease could only be treated abroad. That turned out to be false. Hypoparathyroidism is incurable but it is not fatal and can be treated here. So that story was changed to Mrs. Arroyo needs a bone biopsy, a procedure not available here. But that turned out to be false as well. Bone biopsies are routinely performed here. So the story was changed again, this time Ma. Elena Bautista-Horn claimed Mrs. Gloria needs a METABOLIC bone biopsy, “Alam natin na gumagawa ng regular bone biopsy dito pero ito ay metabolic bone mineral disorder. Minerals ng buto ang problema…” Ooooh Elena, you’re a doctor?
But seriously, Gloria’s doctors should be the ones talking about her medical condition not the “medical team” from La Vista. Why hasn’t Gloria asked them to speak on her behalf?
Elena answered that question yesterday; “Actually, we are shifting our battle into the legal arena.”
Yesterday, Mike Arroyo’s lawyer said he intended to petition the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the watchlist order. The lawyer could be right about the watchlist’s constitutionality. However, as right as his opinion may seem, it is still just his opinion. The watchlist is legal until the Supreme Court overturns it. Why didn’t the Arroyos petition the Court in the first place? Mrs. Arroyo would now be getting medical treatment in some country with no extradition treaty with the Philippines if they had gone straight to the Supreme Court.
Gloria’s propaganda campaign is meant to confuse the issue in order to lend respectability to her rush to evade arraignment. The campaign is generating so much publicity even Conrad and Sonny were compelled to voice their opinions. My propaganda adviser told me that’s good because mas maraming nakikialam mas magusot or, as they say in the vernacular, “the more the messier.”
Conrad wrote that it would be wiser for the Aquino administration to allow Gloria to leave because ours is a culture “that is not always able to distinguish between justice and revenge, prosecution and persecution, doggedness and relentlessness, a thing every tyrant, or plain wrongdoer, in this country has tried to work to his advantage.”
Okay so some Filipinos are bozos. No, let’s grant that most Filipinos are bozos. Still, why would it be wiser for Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to cater to bozos instead of thinking Filipinos?
Sonny also came up with a gem for granting Gloria’s travel request, “I’m confident she’s coming back because if you don’t come back, that means you’re guilty.”
Well, duh, like Gloria will choke on the Margaritas she will be sipping while on a yacht docked at a port in some European country with no extradition treaty with the Philippines because she’s worried about losing face before her fellow Filipinos.
Please naman, Mr. Speaker, Gloria avoided, evaded, and obstructed legitimate congressional investigations of allegations of cheating, plunder, money laundering, and human rights violations by hiding and intimidating witnesses, making baseless claims of executive privilege, filing sham impeachment complaints, and doling out bribes while she was in power. Now that she is out of power, you think she will return to face the music? Mukha ba siyang tanga, Mr. Speaker?
Let’s stop the silliness. Make Gloria Arroyo’s doctors explain her true medical condition. If they say she has to go immediately, then she must go immediately. Her arraignment can wait. She can chill with Ramona Bautista in Turkey. Period. Plantsado at walang gusot. And we can move on to issues that really matter—Ruffa versus Shaina, Anabelle versus Nadia.
Buencamino is the resident satirist of Action for Economic Reforms (www.aer.ph)