Saturday, December 3, 2011

No VIP Treatment for Arroyo

On Friday, I turned up at Bangunan Khas in Petaling Jaya’s Jalan 8/1E to attend the MIHRM Toastmasters meeting. I went there to support Dr William Lau because the club is going through challenging times. I was quickly roped in as a speech evaluator for one of their newer members, Ravin who attempted CC speech # 2. In fact, this meeting was an enjoyable one because all three speeches and evaluations were really good. I was voted the Best Table Topics speaker though – although I must confess that I wasn’t as fluent and lucid as I normally am! It was one of those off-days, I suppose. This meeting earned a score of a 7 out of a 10.

I smirked when I read in The Sun (December 02, 2011, p 11) that a Philippine court had ordered ex-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (above photo) on Thursday to be moved from an exclusive hospital to a military-run medical facility while waiting to go on trial for alleged vote rigging. I'm glad to know she's not getting any VIP treatment.

Judge Jesus Mupas of Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 112, which is hearing the case, noted that medical procedures required by Arroyo, could be done at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, clerk of court Joel Pelicano said. Besides, the veterans hospital is a heavily secured facility in northern Manila where Arroyo’s safety would be assured, and competent government doctors could attend to her needs, he said.

Arroyo, who ruled the country for nearly a decade until last year, has been staying at a $1,100-a-day private hospital suite (i.e. St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City) since she was arrested last month on charges of rigging senatorial elections in 2007. Vote rigging is a non-bailable offence and if convicted, she could face life in jail. But like justice systems everywhere, the trial could take years to complete.

Her successor, Benigno Aquino, has also vowed to charge Arroyo for other acts of corruption that she allegedly committed while in power.

I long for the day when I can see crooked Malaysian leaders getting arrested and charged in court too for all the crimes that they have committed and are still committing!

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