The Matter of Ms. Arroyo’s Health

Former President Arroyo is reported to be in bad health and considerable pain. President Aquino is not inclined to provide her any special rights to get medical care, pointing to her prior use of medical cause to try to flee the Philippines. Holding Ms. Arroyo to account is one of the central planks of his anti-corruption agenda and he does not want to be seen as softening.
The two extreme arguments are as follows:
  • Ms. Arroyo made life hell for a lot of people and deserves her pain. I don’t care what happens to her.
  • Mr. Aquino is heartless. Some people treat their dogs better than he treats a former president.
We hear calls for consideration from the esteemed Senate President Enrile and others. After all, she was a president of the Republic. She has not yet been convicted. This is the middle road.
I wrote a comment somewhere in the blogosphere that I would be inclined to let her go to Hong Kong, or wherever she wants, to secure medical services. If she took the opportunity to flee, it would: (1) prove the point that she is a scoundrel of the utmost lack of character, (2) save the Philippines a lot of grief and allow the nation to move on to more important matters, and (3) portray President Aquino as living up to Christian values of charity and compassion.
I would note that charity and compassion outside the family are not traits commonly found in the Philippines because many Filipinos read generosity as weakness. Generosity and compassion are good traits. I suspect that Filipinos who see them as weaknesses have esteem issues.
Having said all that, I certainly understand Mr. Aquino’s animosity toward this lady. She has done everything within her power to undermine and “defeat” President Aquino, specifically making midnight appointments and stocking the courts with cronies who will, presumably, try to keep her out of jail. It would not be surprising if the Supreme Court’s Hacienda Luista decision were an Arroyo decision.
So it is, what? Ironic? That she demonstrated absolutely zero diplomatic consideration or charity toward Mr. Aquino. Now she wants it from him?
What we are observing is what occurs daily in Filipino interpersonal involvements. Everything is done to “win” and save face. It’s a one way ticket to ride, my way or the highway. There is no nuance, no sportsmanship, no consideration, and precious little responsibility in evidence for things that go bad. Blames and excuses and ridicule; the whine, the 115th dialect of the nation.
When do you figure we will hear Ms. Arroyo state that perhaps her stocking the Supreme Court with political allies may not have been in the best interest of THE PHILIPPINES.
Not in her life time.
The Corona supporters screamed that Mr. Aquino undermined the independence of the courts by pushing impeachment. What exactly do they figure Ms. Arroyo did with her cozy appointments?
The one-sided blindness around here is palpable. Any rationalization to save face.
So this is all a bunch of macho posturing to me, wasted energy lacking principle. Win. Lose. Both sides are engaged in old school, dysfunctional Filipino interpersonal dealings. These values are low class.
So, to me, both parties are a bit scumbag for failing to aspire toward a higher road, for failing to accept accountability for ANYTHING, for endless rationalizations, for failure to be flexible in the face of changing circumstance.
Win. That is the agenda. If you can’t win then blame and ridicule and accuse.
Somehow I think this obsession with winning makes people losers.
9 Responses to “The Matter of Ms. Arroyo’s Health”
  1. Anonymous says:

    From: Island Jim-e1. Justice first, mercy last!2. I wish we could take all of the wasted time,energy, resources, treasure wasted on this poor excuse for a human and apply it to funding solutions to our disasters and island crisis!Oh for a ounce of prevention the islands aresinking/stinking/slumming…!Cricket chirp x-1

  2. brianitus says:

    If she's sick and no in the Philippines can treat her, then let her get medical attention elsewhere. The last press release was just from a "close friend." Why can't doctors even verify her health condition? Shouldn't it be that simple? I think most people are being steered by propaganda from both sides of the political fence. The war between pots and kettles rages on.Cheers!

  3. If those chirps are telling the temperature, it is cold today. If they are like gold stars, I'm thinking the article was a little lame.Still, I like the simplicity of your resolution. Justice first, mercy last.

  4. The Philippines is a world leader in the manufacture of pots and kettles, methinks. There does seem to be a reasonable amount of, ummmm, inconsistency, if not hypocrisy, as in Ms. Arroyo's demand for consideration when she gave absolutely zero to Mr. Aquino. Still, most people I think are generous of heart . . . or maybe that is an American trait . . . and would set acrimony aside for someone who is ill. That is troublesome here, I suppose, when people play illness like a political card.I give up on this one . . .

  5. GabbyD says:

    I'm not clear on what the issue is. she is in a hospital now right? what does she want and why?

  6. Good questions. I was referring to the battle of the publicists and trying to figure out, in my own conscience, if she really were sick, what position would I take. Your point is good, though. She needs to find a way to report responsibly on her health by allowing doctors to state her condition. Rather than appeal to emotions. I suspect many people are torn between two emotions: trust (they don't trust her) and compassion. No one really has good information.

  7. brianitus says:

    Yes, people are generous at heart. It's quite true here in the Philippines. That is also the reason why the emotional tug is always used as an approach to getting support. I think PNoy wants to really force GMA into a very hard wall. I wonder why. I'm also betting that an unholy alliance between a faction of pots and kettles will beat the yellow faction next year. I would suppose that some people will prefer blacker pots next year.

  8. I think Philippine politics is more interesting than American, for all the switching of loyalties and party merging and splitting going on. It is like a battlefield of strategies and tactics. America is like two big battleships firing at each other for two years. The yellow pots and the black pots . . . I prefer ocher.

  9. Anonymous says:

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