By Florence F. Hibionada/ PNS
ILOILO CITY, PHILIPPINES – Totally embarrassed. Seriously affected. Sicker and in depression. While at it, a big victim of propaganda war.
Such summed up the first-hand observations of former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez on the current physical state and plight of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA).
A staunch ally, Gonzalez is among the Arroyo loyalists who remain in close contact with the beleaguered former President now incumbent Representative. In fact, Gonzalez was with the Arroyos over the weekend with GMA now under vicious government attack while in hospital arrest.
“We talked….and she shared her concerns on what is being done against her….the former First Gentleman (Mike) was saying he could not understand where all the hatred is coming from and why (President Benigno) Aquino is doing this to them,” Gonzalez said in an interview with Bombo Radyo’s John Talento. “But what can she do? What can Gloria do? Let us just pray.”
Gonzalez also disclosed the changed physical condition of GMA.
“When I was there she attempted to stand up from her wheelchair. While doing that, she almost lost her footing..and she lost so much weight,” Gonzalez added.
Yet depression and all, the former Justice Secretary expressed optimism on the outcome of Arroyo’s case as he downplays the government’s supposed evidence. Such as he also quipped, “for as long as she stays alive.”
Similar sentiments from another Arroyo ally Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo who is among those who has reached out to the ailing former President.
Pelayo in a message to Ilonggo media contacts decried the unfair treatment of the Aquino administration.
“Accord the former President due process and respect the law of the land,” came Pelayo’s message as he also came out in national television in defense of GMA.
Local political analysts are divided on the handling and mis-handling of the Aquino administration on Arroyo’s case. Yet what is similarly heard is the shared opinion that sadder and sicker even are the former Ilonggo Arroyo people who have now seemingly dumped GMA.
“Give it to Secretary Raul and the likes of Mayor Pelayo who are real friends and decent people in government for they are particularly there in GMA’s lowest time,” said a retired teacher.
“Shame on the other politicos who made good during PGMA’s term and now not only have jumped ship to Aquino but has help trample the rights of Gloria,” said another war veteran.