By Raïssa Robles
It’s very simple. She need not go abroad for treatment.
The only thing, really, that can cure former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is if the Philippine government drops all efforts to charge her in court.
Miraculously, praise the Lord, she will get up from her bed and walk again in her two-inch heels with a jiggle. Or even dance aerobics like she did so very recently:
Through all the years of her nine-year presidency, I don’t ever recall her being laid up by a long illness.
In fact, the presidential palace took great care to hide even her emergency boobs repair, remember. Or her frequent splitting headaches needing powerful pain relievers.
After she stepped down from the presidency last year, she was even reported to be dancing aerobics. I don’t know if the photo above was taken during or after her presidency. But this is how she looks dancing aerobics.
She even let her helmet-like hair grow a little so that she looked more girlish and less commanding:
But then the presidential palace started making noises about bringing her to court. On the day that President Benigno Aquino III delivered his State of the Nation Address and said:
Tutok po tayo na ang pagkakamit ng ganap na katarungan ay hindi natatapos sa pagsasakdal kung hindi sa pagkukulong ng maysala.
[I am fully committed to the idea that genuine justice does not end with prosecution but with jailing the guilty.]
That very afternoon, reports leaked out that Arroyo suddenly went to the hospital.
To explain her sudden illness, her aides and allies began saying she had been hiding all along a long back illness for the sake of the nation.
I’m skeptical, of course. How could she walk in high heels with back pain? Just try it and see.
Recently, people lobbying for Arroyo to be allowed to travel overseas said of her – her hair has “gone silver” and she looks gaunt and has even “shrunk in size”.
Oh, please. Mrs Arroyo dyes her hair.
She confirmed that to me when I asked her earlier this year when she met with members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) for a last supper. Perhaps she can’t dye her hair right now because of her recent operations.
As to why I had asked such a strange Boy Abunda-like question of the president, I was earlier admiring her well-coiffed hair up close. It was right out of a shampoo commercial.
Anyway, to go back to the topic at hand, if an ally says she has “shrunk in size”, perhaps it’s because she’s not wearing her usual high heels at the moment.
It’s interesting to see that her illness has to do with her neck.
The doctors finally had to put a steel brace to hold her head in place. One of her orthopedic surgeons even made a joke about the contraption which he called “the halo”. Because of her halo, she is now “an angel”, the doctor even joked.
Curious, I researched what a halo looked like and found that it looks more like this – like that scene in Robocop where scientists had allegedly placed a policeman’s brain inside another man’s body.
The picture gave me the shivers. It must be hard for Mrs. Arroyo to sleep with a halo on.
I wondered why her illness struck her neck in particular.
Could there be something deeply psychological about it? That now she can no longer hold her head up high? That now she has been shamed before the entire world?
Just a little over a year ago, people from all walks of life bowed and scraped before her. The crowd always parted like the Red Sea for her.
Two of the most telling photos of her fall from grace are probably the ones below.
For nine years she was hailed as the Philippine Head of State. She was once feted over at the White House by no less than President Barack Obama.
A year after stepping down from the presidency, she had to endure sitting on a vinyl sofa – that was torn in two places – inside a drab office at the Department of Justice, to personally submit her rejoinder to a plunder case that was filed against her.
There were no longer presidential guards to shove away photographers. And horrors! She color-matched the sofa. Nobody told her not to wear blue.
But notice her high heels.
The humiliating experience could have been too much to bear.
Soon, she needed one surgical operation after another.
So, you see, she doesn’t really need to travel to various countries for a third medical opinion. What she needs is for her former “B+” student, Aquino, to stand down and stop hauling her before the court.
On a very off-topic kind of thing, do you want to know what I found out when I tried to find the origin of the word “Arroyo”? Here’s the picture that popped up –
That – is an “Arroyo toad.”
Sorry, nothing to do with Arroyo’s medical condition.
I guess I’m still trying to shake off something jarring that I had to cover this week – two men who lost some of the best years of their lives in detention and now face a lifetime in jail for drug trafficking.
Will Arroyo join them in prison?
I don’t know.
DAY OF RECKONING has arrived for ex Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo
They say journalist should be impartial. I doubt. Where will be go if johrnalist dont have the balls to shout to their lungs content all that they find wrong, of course it must be substantiated.
This piece is like reading a mystery novel. Full of questions, parallels. It was a fun invoking read Ms Raissa. Your poetry is like breath of fresh air. Lol. Teka facts pala to no, d pala fictional ang character ni CGMA. Hahahaha.
It is just hillarious how you are able to solicit funny comments below from your writing. Kudos!
Sana mas maraming tulad ninyo! Maybe next time, Philippines can do a video independent journalism. I mean, post raw video from regular folks about all the wrong things in the soceity has. Then let the people talk. Just like in Singapore. This way everyone is involved and everyone is on their toes.
Impartial means taking the other viewpoint to account.
Giving all sides fair play.
But it doesn’t mean journalists should not take a stand.
We just need to distinguish what kind of piece it is – a news story, a column, a commentary, an analysis.
In a news story, there is little room for personal opinion or opinion not back up by actual quotations from people other than the journalist.
Your video suggestion is interesting. Why don’t you try working at it?
ken narvasa says
come on guys! nag aaway away kayo. why dont you help each other and be able to collect ideas and be open to those ideas. yes, i may be a freshman college student pero may paki din ako sa bayan natin. mga journalist nag sisiraan dahil lng sa isang issue; ang pro at cons sa issue ni GMA. you guys are not a good example to the young generations. the thing we can all asure to make Philippines a prosperous country is to set up a BEST role model for the younger generations. BE A ROLE MODEL. kahit sa internet man lang. nababasa din ito ng mga kabataan ngayon.
peter k. says
loved your writings raissia, the philippines needs more journalists like you. Most politicians there i think are yes men. To me its crystal clear that gma was planning to flee the philippines to escape justice; that she had the backing of a corrupt majoriy of supreme court judges.
I hope they will also be looked at to see if they have committed any offences & at the very least barred from practice as its only by getting rid of these dregs of society will the philippines be able to move forward & give a better life to its people.
I hope poverty there can be greatly improved for the majority but it will take time. Good luck stay safe; god bless you; people like you who are prepared to stand up ; be counted.
Thank you for reading, Peter,
If people like you continue to be involved and intense about events like this, then the Philippines has a chance of reforming itself.
Compared to the UK, the Philippines is still a young country. The UK had to go through a lot of internal wars to get to where it is now.
What is happening now in the Philippines is the moral equivalent of war – war for accountability of its leaders to the citizens they govern.
Reminds me of the time when the congressman son was on tv and was bragging about a million-dollar beach property in California.the show really drew in a lot of pinoys in California protesting the resale of the beach property on the grounds that it was bought with ill gotten money and it should be surrendered to the authorities in the Philippines Now the mother is being prosecuted for breaking a law she signed. i wanna cry “world’s dumbest criminals”