Former President Gloria Arroyo, who is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), had unexpected visitors on Saturday: Vice President Noli “Kabayan” de Castro and Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz.
Cruz, a staunch critic of the former President, said he paid the former leader a visit in the spirit of reconciliation, unity and compassion. He said that since her cases are already in court and she is under detention, the spirit of cooperation and reconciliation must be observed and reign in the hearts of the Filipino people.
De Castro was Vice President during Mrs. Arroyo’s term.
Brother Eddie Villanueva, along with Jesus is Lord Bishop Leo Alconga, also visited and prayed for Mrs. Arroyo on December 14. Villanueva said the former President needs prayers for her health condition. He added that it was his apostolic duty to deliver Christ’s message of justice with compassion and mercy.
However, Malacañang does not see the need for President Benigno Aquino 3rd to Mrs. Arroyo.
Presidential Communications Secretary Hermino Coloma Jr. said Aquino has no ill-will toward Mrs. Arroyo but he will not visit her at the hospital.
He said the Palace is too busy to comment on the statements issued by personalities who visited Mrs. Arroyo.
“We respect whatever Mrs. Arroyo’s visitors said but that is not our priority. We are busy with the rehabilitation of areas affected by recent cyclones like Yolanda and Santi, and by the fighting in Zamboanga City and the Bohol quake,” he said.
The government is also busy pursuing reforms and implementing the
Philippine Development Plan, Coloma added.
Mrs. Arroyo was arrested in December 2011 on charges of electoral sabotage. She is also facing plunder complaint at the Sandiganbayan.