Over a hundred women holding prison placards created a chain of jail bars around the Veterans Memorial Medical Center. They decried the special treatment given the former President and demanded Mrs. Arroyo’s transfer to an ordinary detention center.
“Tulad ng marami pang ibang akusado, ang isang pinagbibintangang magnanakaw, mandaraya at human rights violator katulad ni Gloria Arroyo ay hindi dapat nagtatamasa ng ganito karangyang kulungan. Sa regular na kulungan dapat manatili si Arroyo. Ito ang hiling ng milyon-milyong kababaihang naghirap at nilapastangan sa loob ng 9 na taon niyang panunungkulan,” said KJ Catequista, Gabriela Women’s Party spokesperson.
Catequista likewise said that the special treatment being given Mrs. Arroyo is by itself scandalous considering that a growing majority of poor women are deprived of health services. “Malinaw na kung may kaya at kapangyarihan ang isang kriminal na nagtatago sa likod ng kanyang sakit, ispesyal na serbisyong medikal ang matatamasa niya mula sa Administrasyong Aquino. Samantalang Maraming mga nanay sa komunidad ang hindi man lang madala ang kanilang mga anak na maysakit sa ospital dahil sa kahirapan at panggigipit ng pamahalaan sa badyet sa kalusugan!”
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Luz Ilagan who joined the women protesters, stressed, “Hospital detention for a notorious human rights violator and plunderer is a stark contrast to the situation of political prisoners who continue to languish in jails across the country.”
“It was under Mrs. Arroyo’s term that 60 year old Angie Ipong was illegally arrested, tortured and molested, and eventually proven innocent of the charges filed against her. It was under her term that Juvilyn Oliveros and Mercy Castro of the Morong 43 endured difficult pregnancies,” said Ilagan.
“At least 43 of the 365 political prisoners, mostly accused of trumped-up charges of rebellion are sick with various ailments, yet they are forced to make do with ordinary inhospitable prison cells. Considering the magnitude of the crimes that Mrs. Arroyo is being accused of, why should she be accorded such extra-special treatment?”
“We demand the immediate prosecution of Gloria Arroyo for the cases of plunder and human rights violations hurled against her.
We demand that President Aquino exercise his political will to the fullest in order to expedite the handling of these cases. His failure to do so will make him an accessory to impunity and violence perpetrated by the Arroyo regime. Arroyo has to answer for 1,208 cases of extra-judicial killings, 206, enforced disappearances, and 1,099 tortures committed during her term,” Ilagan concluded. PIO-Office of Representative Emmi De Jesus, Gabriela Women's Party