Gloria Arroyo: ‘Give her liberty or give her, God forbid…..’


THE shame of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s inhuman ordeal under the administration of Benigno BS Aquino 3rd goes on, waiting for intervention and closure from this nation’s basic decency and moral sense.

The news last week that the Court of Appeals affirmed last September a decision by a Pasay city Regional Trial Court (RTC) allowing President Arroyo to post bail in the electoral sabotage case filed against her, roused me to join many in welcoming the decision.

I thought the happy news would be swiftly followed by her release on bail, much as Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile got his release on bail posthaste.

But before the Arroyo family could fully digest the news, the administration, on instructions from the Palace, swiftly scrambled to dampen public enthusiasm and stop the wheels of justice from rolling. It announced that GMA will still remain under hospital arrest because of another case which she is still facing.

This is the plunder case filed against her by the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly mishandling Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds.

In this case, it was alleged that Arroyo took part in a conspiracy to defraud PCSO. But oddly, all of her alleged conspirators have already been let off the hook and freed. And the principal witness, an Aquino appointee to the PCSO, has admitted under oath that she has no proof whatever to implicate Arroyo.

Yet even with the evident collapse of the case, Arroyo was not allowed to post bail or summarily freed by the graft court.

The administration has played GMA’s legal ordeal like a yoyo. When it was not the PCSO case keeping her in detention; it was the electoral sabotage case that did it. Now, with the collapse of the sabotage case, the PCSO allegation will again bear the weight of keeping her in detention.

Time for the nation to say ‘Enough’
I submit that it’s time for the nation to say, “Enough.” This nut of a case which our justice machinery appears unwilling and unable to to resolve justly and humanely must be brought to an end by popular demand.

This is not a matter for President Aquino to decide. He is not the nation. This is a decision for our courts, who are collectively a separate branch of government with the Supreme Court as their apex.

It was in these circumstances that I lighted on the provocative title of this piece, which calls vividly to mind Patrick Henry’s famous line, “give me Liberty or give me death,” which incidentally helped to spark the American revolution.

The first time I thought of my title, I recoiled – it might bring bad luck and the premature demise of President Arroyo, considering the state of her health and presumably her despondency over her prolonged and mindless hospital detention at the Veterans Memorial Hospital.

But what the heck! Delicacy should not stand in the way of plain humanity toward a leader, who at one time we were proud to elect and call our president and commander in chief.

Aquino’s mind marinates in poison
Be careful, a friend has warned me; maybe inducing Arroyo’s death by ailment may be precisely what her jailor BS Aquino has in mind.

Maybe inflicting cruelty is the true pathology of President Aquino. Aquino’s mind marinates in poison and ill will. His only pleasure lies in seeing his enemies and rivals suffer.

Listen to Nelson Mandela’s insight about his 27 years in prison.

“The challenge for every prisoner, particularly every political prisoner, is how to survive prison intact, how to emerge from prison undiminished, how to conceive and even replenish one’s beliefs.

“Prison is designed to break one’s spirit and destroy one’s resolve.

“Prison and the authorities conspire to rob each man of his dignity. In and of itself, that assured that I would survive, for any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose because I will not part with it at any price or under any pressure.”

I do not doubt that President Arroyo sees her ordeal also in these terms. This is one tough lady whom Aquino is trying to crush. As she did during her Presidency to face her every crisis, she will summon the will to endure, as long as there is life still in her.

This is why the possibility of her not surviving her ordeal must now enter into the calculation of the court hearing her case, and of the nation.

Take the trophy prisoner away
When I first wrote about President Arroyo’s plight in December 2013, I described her as Aquino’s “trophy prisoner,” a trophy for display to the world, like a trophy wife.

President Arroyo has now been in detention for over four years. The pile of cases heaped on her have mostly withered away from lack of evidence and substance. Only the bile of BS Aquino’s dark soul remains.

It’s time to take his trophy away and set her free.

If he wants to keep the trophy, then let us set this condition: Let Aquino bring all 23 APEC heads of state visiting the Philippines next month for the APEC leaders Summit to visit President Arroyo.

Bernard Malamud once wrote, “ It’s not madness that turns the world around. It’s conscience.”

We cannot wait for George Clooney’s glamorous wife to do her thing to set GMA free.

The world must know the horror of her situation now.

For sadly and alarmingly, the trophy prisoner may not be strong enough to wait for Aquino’s rule to expire on June 30 next year.


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  1. Maribel A. Calanda on

    I can only pity her. She was our president before. Hence, the court should treat her with due respect and compassion. Many are already saying that she is frail. What if she dies in jail? Will you be too proud before the world that you killed a former president?

  2. If God Almighty can forgive, why can’t we? Vengeance is a grievous sin, a mortal sin. This abnoy president should taste his own medicine, send him to prison for several wrong doings during his term. Vengeance is synonym to hate, vengeance has no place in this Catholic nation. Remember the golden rule, love your fellowmen.One more thing, “To err is human, to forgive is divine”.

  3. BS. Aquino should be detained at national mental hospital after his term expired,the people are very in a hurry to finish his term now.He is so mentally disturb as it he was the king of what? was he the real king of whatever he commands the slaves will follow.? But he was now called the king of all thieves.The nation are praying for President GMA to get well sonnest and we are also praying if God permits, the nations request let BS Aquino die now,,He is the father of all devil!

  4. If there is a need to march to wherever just to set this trophy prisoner free, count me in.

  5. BS Aquino is the ugliest person w/ a heart of a stone. Lahat pakitang tao lang sa daang matuwid of w/c this is used to inflict sufferings to his political & personal foes.

  6. apolonio reyes on

    Mr. Yen Makabenta, can you search what then Sen. Benigno S. Aquino, II said when GMA gave an executive clemency to all the soldiers which were jailed for the assassination of Sen. Ninoy Aquino. You will find the answer why Pnoy is punishing GMA inspite of CA allowing GMA to post bail, ITS HATE AND VENGENCE !

    • eltee mulawin on

      >>>Dahil si BSC-Aquino3rd ay ISANG TUNAY AT SADYANG I-BAKLAsing tao ang takbo ng isip at moral.

    • Vindictiveness of this current President are from several legal issues such as:the awarding of Hacienda Luisita to the poor farmers (legal beneficiaries) by then CJ Renato Corona of which this President illegally impeach the former CJ influencing Congress using the DAP which was declared unconstitutional by SC, plus the refusal of GMA to influence the CJ Corona of Cory Aquino’s request to change it to a stock distribution option of which the control of Hacienda Luisita will still make it under Cory’s families control.

  7. GMA once said in her speech: “Those who are accusing me of wrong doing are the walking example of their own accusations”. This is precised and exact. Yen Makabenta congratulations on this column. You did a good job. I hope every Filipino can read this one. Let us not expect valued comments from BS Aquino’s allies and supporters for they’ve been blinded.

  8. Doesn’t she deserve this karma for what she did to Erap? If only for the reason that Grace Poe might keep her in jail for the rest of her life, I think I will vote for Grace. To complete the karma, Grace should throw in Mike Arrovo too.

    • Nestor Condor on

      I don’t get it. What did she do to Erap? It was Cory who led the people to bring Erap down. It was GMA who gave Erap presidential pardon after he was convicted by the courts for plunder. And why would Grace throw Mike Arroyo to jail, isn’t the duty of the courts to find him innocent or guilty.

    • what did she do to erap? really? what? gloria was cast into the presidency by her being the VP at a time when erap’s star twas plummeting due to his profligate and immoral lifestyle, connections to jueteng and other criminal activities.
      GMA did not instigate erap’s impeachment and certainly did not lead the EDSA 2 uprising. everything that happened to erap was a confluence of his shortcomings and plotting of the big business leaders.
      you would vote for grace poe? another OJT president? another tabularasa, waiting for vultures and wolves to gather around and write their own version of how to pillage the treasury and amass power unto themselves. haven’t you had enough of this imbecilic president who knows nothing but vengeance and hatred for his perceived personal and political enemies?
      please, if this is all you can say, please forget about posting on this space.

    • Erap is a properly convicted felon. All this karma talk is rubbish and is the product of shallow reasoning. Get real and wake up!

  9. Alfred S Tingabngab on

    The Abnoy Administration headed by its vindictive abnormal of an accidental President will realize soon that the fate of the former President GMA will be their fate too and much worse. If I had it my way, this abnoy of a man should be given “Solitary Confinement” not only protect this country but to protect himself from the Bile that he is.

    The Courts, as separate Branch of Government, should expedite the resolution of the case against PGMA and bestow justice, if not hope for justice, and restore the belief of the people on the dispensation of justice in this seemingly God-forsaken country of ours. The move of the courts may just move this country around from the direction of self-destruction which it is sailing brought about by the Abnoy of an Administration who makes up stories on the fallacious “Daang Matuwid.”

    To the courts, expedite the case of PGMA and give justice and hope to this country.

  10. Well, some believe that Arroyo is clean, but it seems much more think that she is not. A long laundry list of “crimes” has been posted about her, ranging from “hello Garci” to NBN-ZTE deal, etc. etc. Why don’t people go to Mindanao and do some checking, for example, about the hello Garci massive vote cheating. No less than the Maguindanao election officer said so. What happened to this grievous sin of an “illegitimate” president?

    • it’s the same true with truckloads of evidences people are saying so against gma. where are they? dapat nalabas na…naghihintay ang tulad kong karaniwang mamayan..

  11. I have visited her twice at the invitation of a friend and saw for myself how gracious she is. The Holy Mass is said every day by different priests. She has no negative things to say against her nemesis Pnoy in spite of the injustice done her. I pray she will be freed as she is innocent of all charges. I thank the writer for this article.

  12. Tama na; sobra na; palayain na! Let us start a signature campaign and address our concern to human rights international.

  13. Gloria Arroyo is in detention because she violated a law that was entrusted to her by the people. When Arroyo decided to use the powers of the president to participate in graft and corruption, she knew that she violated the law. GMA took it upon herself to be in her situation. Why blame Aquino for what she did? Anybody could have been president and the outcome would have been the same.

    • What law was violated? If the accusers can not even convince the courts with documentary evidence for the last four years so that those courts should have come out with a guilty verdict by now, how can you say that there was violation indeed? Besides, was there a heinous crime committed that bail can not be granted? What is pathetic is for those who were once students of the sublime law allowing themselves to prostitute the law in the service of a stupid asshole masquerading as a president who is no better intellectually than they. Have they got no balls to go against a moron and cares only for their job even when such blind acquiescence is contrary to all moral, ethical and legal values?

    • Pls research more to back up your comments. Sandiganbayan couldn’t find any evidence and therefore those ” tsismis’ or made up scenarion doesn’t deserve her to be treated inhumanely by this vindictive negative President who thinks he is above the law,period.

    • don’t you find it unusual that in all the cases brought against her, all her co-accused have been released due to lack of evidence? the mere fact that she alone has been detained continuously reeks of selective justice and underscores the violation of her right to due process.
      this highlights the aquino brand of justice where his lust for vengeance trumped the findings of the court which tried her case/s.

  14. I don’t know why Abnoy is so mad with former Pres. Arroyo. His father was murdered in cold blood and the mastermind is still out there, Honasan played a vital role in the attempt to overthrow his Mom and played part of him getting shot is still a senator and running for Vice President, he is a bully and does not want to pick his own size.

  15. Should we be blaming the court? Why this case is not being tried yet,? after four years all the evidenced the witness should have been identify and question already.

  16. It is ironic that because of that one signature by Arroyo that did her in, while the signatures of Aquino was on every DAP approval as Abad alleges but which Morales quickly clear the president of any wrongdoing.

    • do not forget that abaya’s signature is also in the anomalous maintenance contract of mrt and moral less absolved him of crime. for the second time moral less did it again. she absolved boy sisi and decided to investigate abad and the usec of abad. to the sandiganbayan justices who insist on jailing arroyo, they do not, i think, deserve to be sitting in their chairs even a minute. imagine the accused arroyo together with other persons were being tried for plunder (which means they are in cahoots with each other). then these justices allowed to other to post bail but not arroyo. sannamagan, anong klase iyon?

  17. Leodegardo Pruna on

    GMA deserves freedom unlike P-Noy who is actually imprison in his court of advisers and alter-egos. Nothing has yet come out of the many cases filed against GMA and as the author stated evidences against her have been thrown out for lack of substance. The claim of P-Noy that he has jailed the corrupt is just his for they have not been officially convicted and their cases still being heard or in court. Equallity under the law should be the rule rather than the exception. God bless the Philippines.

  18. Ito ang unang presidente ng Pilipinas na sobrang
    4Walang consiensa
    5Manhid at Palpak
    Paano mo iboboto ang taong kanyang ini

  19. Too much is too much, and I say enough ” fair of the Almighty is the end of all cruel things done to fellow human.” Therefore BS Aquino and his suckers e.g. akbayan, black and white and et al, has no fear of the “God of Israel” who makes the heaven the earth and author of our breath but their time will come. It`s just a matter of when only God knows.

    Their`s no need to feel sorry for Madam Arroyo, or public disturbance to free her or back chanelling, or use of power by high places friends of Pres. Arroyo. By the way probably she never done that. May the God that you worship Madam give you justice he is not sleeping nor slumber leave it in his mighty hands.

  20. Amado salvador on

    Is there no legal remedy that can be taken like an international court of justice to interfere on behalf of GMA for her to get the justice denied to her?

  21. Kale Alaskador on

    You are not the judge. You cannot acquit GMA of the charges against her. Everybody knows she is guilty of so many acts of graft, corruption, electoral cheating, etc. etc. etc.

    She is lucky she is not in a regular prison cell together with other criminals or other accused awaiting final judgement while in jail! She should be in a regular jail! Of course I am not the judge but I strongly believe she is guilty!

    • i share your thoughts, my friend. i pray the same will befall noynoy. i thought plunder and economic sabotage are unbailable crimes. mr. makabenta, i believe you’re wrong to incite people to cry for the freedom of GMA. everybody knows that she was not a good President and i’m certain you cannot get people behind you. your gall to quote Patrick Henry’s “give me liberty, or give me death” is quite reprehensible.

    • If you do believe that she is guilty then why don’t you provide concrete evidence to the courts? Otherwise, if you based your opinion on hearsay and personal motive, then I am glad that you are not a judge.

    • Kaya dapat ilagan at hwag iboto ang mga alter-ego nya. Ang dami nun mula Hyatt 10 + Roxas, Drilon, Erice, sali na natin si Leni Rob… (kasi nagpapagamit siya), mga KKK niya. Lahat kamukha ni AbNoy… DIYOS KO POH!!!!!!

    • Maybe but what rubs people wrong is the ones keeping her in jail are far worse. Despite the delusions from the Aquino administration of a straight path the senators and house looted the pork barrel fund.

      18 senators gave their pork barrel allocation to Napoles, 100 million peso’s each in exchange for kickbacks.

      50 million each for voting to impeach Corona.

      Of the 18 senate plunderers only 3 opposition senators arrested.
      15 senators allowed to get away with corruption.

      100 house members gave Napoles their pork barrel funds, zero arrested. All 100 allowed to get away with corruption.

  22. i hope pnoy gets charged with all there is to charge him at the sandiganbayan after his term is over. and i hope all those charges are non bailable, as i know they will be. that way he gets a taste far worse than that of president gloria macapagal-arroyo’s. and i hope leila de lima goes with him too.

  23. Abnoy and all judicial + political persons in cahoots for her detention must be brought to justice.

  24. Horacio B. Freires on

    . . Mainit siya kay arroyo. . pero tatay niya di niya mabigyan ng hustisya, , dahil ka-pamilya niya ang mastermind sa murder ng tatay niya. . We have a president with an un-developed mind set. .

  25. Wait for his turn to suffer the same fate because his system of governance is very transparent in corruption practices since he assumed the presidency.

  26. I suppose that the ‘incarceration’ of Arroyo is being made as a ‘symbol’ of Pres.BS Aquino’s “matuwid na daan”, which doen’t exist in the first place. It’s turning out to be ‘baluktot na daan’ instead, as such incarceration is proving to be a ‘veiled’ vindictiveness, arrogance and ‘abuse’ of power. All circumstances considered, it is ‘inhumane’ and ‘un-Christian’.

    I am no holier than anybody else, but my years of existence tell me that “this time you win, next time you lose”. In plain language, ” you owe, you pay” maybe, in some form.

  27. I suppose that the ‘incarceration’ of Arroyo is being made as a ‘symbol’ of Pres.BS Aquino’s “matuwid na daan”, which doen’t exist in the first place. It’s turning out to be ‘baluktot na daan’ instead, as such incarceration is proving to b e a ‘veiled’ vindictiveness, arrogance and ‘abuse’ of power. All circumstances considered, it is ‘inhumane’ and ‘un-Christian’.

    I am no holier than anybody else, but my years of existence tell me that “this time you win, next time you lose”. In plain language, ” you owe, you pay” maybe, in some form.

  28. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    05 October 2015

    I recall that “rigging the 2007 elections,” which is the charge against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, is a “non-bailable” crime. I wonder what was the basis for the Court of Appeals granting her bail.

    The other charge against her is for Plunder, which is also a non-bailable crime. That explains why the Ombudsman objects to GMA being released on bail.


    • There are two conditions for a crime to be non-bailable. One of them is ‘if evidence of guilt is strong’ meaning if the judge deems the evidence to be weak, then the accused could be granted bail.

  29. Rodan Guerrero on

    YES! GMA will be a free woman again after 2016 and it is most possible Aquino will succeed her in jail!

  30. well, since it looks very likely that grace poe will become the next president, gloria will have to remain incarcerated until she dies.