Thrilla in Manila

And this time it has nothing to do with Manny Pacquiao.  Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo tried to leave the Philippines on Tuesday, ostensibly to seek medical treatment for a “bone ailment” but she was not allowed to leave the country because she’s under investigation and they were afraid that once she left she wouldn’t return.  So she went to a hospital (unnamed) and her lawyers went to the Supreme Court, which issued an order allowing her to travel, but then a lower court issued a warrant for her arrest which led to the government ignoring the Supreme Court’s travel order, which among other things makes the Philippines Supreme Court not seem very supreme at all.  Tonight, she was arrested in her hospital room on charges of election fraud.  She’s accused of having “direct knowledge” of election fraud in “an autonomous Muslim region in the southern Philippines, the country’s poorest and notoriously corrupt region, where ballot boxes are switched en masse and voters paid or threatened to abstain.” (quoted from the NY Times.)  The charges carry a maximum sentence of 40 years.

The president before GMA was Joseph Estrada, a former actor who went the Reagan route, was simultaneously elected President and Vice President, impeached on charges of corruption, tossed out of office when people took to the streets to protest, later found guilty, pardoned by GMA and ran for President again in 2010 – and actually got some votes.

All of this would almost be more entertaining than popular TV show Eat Bulaga if most of the country wasn’t living in poverty.

5 thoughts on “Thrilla in Manila”

  1. It’s interesting how heads of state of certain countries often need to go overseas for treatment.

    Gloria Arroyo was president of the Philippines for 9 years.

    Yes, it’s a poor country. but with population is 88 million you would think they would have a medical system there that can treat the people.

  2. The Philippines is like some bizarre soap opera designed by Rousseau on acid whilst he was having a bad day with the wife & kids stuck a caravan in North Wales due to stormy weather conditions.

  3. There’s a lot wrong with the Philippines but so, too, just about every other country on earth. I get annoyed with the lip-curling disdain that creeps in to HK (in particular) residents’ attitude to Philipinos.

  4. Manila has some extremely well-equipped hospitals.

    If GMA needs treatment, she can certainly get it without leaving the country. If she wants a world-renowned specialist, she can fly him/her in and they will find excellent facilities waiting in place.

    Every person on the supreme court was put in place by Arroyo, to safeguard her interests.

    Her husband is a crook. You don’t get to sleep in the same bed without some of that rubbing off.

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