Express Week

Imelda Marcos visited Gloria Arroyo

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JERSEY CITY -- I shut the world for one week - no calls, both incoming & outgoing, and no face book distraction. Only newspapers to read while under orders of the doctor to have a complete bed rest. I had flu and I am a diabetic.


From one of the Philippine news articles, I read that the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo  was visited by Ilocos Norte Congresswoman Imelda R. Marcos in her hospital room for two hours last Wednesday, January 22. The former president is under hospital arrest at the Philippine Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City.

"Arroyo is obviously not well and she is fighting for her life," according to Imelda Marcos. She is disappointed with the government's treatment of a former head of state being treated like an ordinary prisoner.

Former President Arroyo had a 9-year tumultuous presidency from 2001 to 2010. She was the least popular leader and faced  several coup and impeachment attempts. She was charged with election sabotage, graft and plunder charges.

Recent medical records show that Arroyo's condition continues to deteriorate due to her irreversible and progressive spine disease. "Former President Arroyo continues to suffer from lumbar pain with further deterioration of her poor physical health," according to Dr. Antonio B. Sison, who diagnosed Arroyo with the following diseases: cervical spondylotic radiculopathy, degenerative lumbar spine disease, and post cervical spine decompression with instrumentation.

As we embark on V-Day 2014 events where we tackle the issue of protecting the rights of women against sexual and domestic violence all over the world, I am glad that I have the time (today)  to think of other women in the world including the former president of the Philippines. Her case is different but let us not close our hearts and mind to say a prayer for her recovery and well being.

I am neither fan nor foe of Gloria. When I was a radio host of DWBL, I had the privilege of doing a one hour interview with her in my program, Tinig ng Mamamayan. I remember her as bubbly, witty and funny then. 

Looking at her recent photo, I am deeply touched to see her  pale, wan and old. No more trace of that cute and powerful resident of Malacanang for almost a decade. The once feisty and feared lady who called the shots 24/7 for almost a decade has been diminished to an ordinary patient at a government hospital.

Oh yes, we do remember that once upon a time there was this lady who had been praised by world leaders until she fell down her glory. In short, she had served our country well until she succumbed to the temptations of her Mike, Mikey & company. And the love of money!

As an advocate of women, our fliers say, "Justice can take different forms. For many, it comes when we release our trauma and bring in love. We begin to heal when we access, process and release our stories and move towards a place of love and justice."


In the true spirit of humanitarian and compassionate considerations and in celebration of V-Day 2014 events, we strongly urge that a house arrest be granted for former president Gloria Macapagal Arroryo. Not that she deserves it but she needs it!

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