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Why is Gloria Arroyo Keeping so Silent?

emember her? She was president for almost a decade. A year after leaving office in 2010 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was arrested and placed under Ex-president and current Congresswoman Gloria Arroyo“hospital arrest” where she remains to this date. Charged first with electoral sabotage, then the misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes funds, Arroyo is currently confined at the Veterans’ Memorial Medical Center awaiting her day in court.

Curiously, no one hears from Arroyo these days. Why, some wonder? Could it be because the former diminutive president has had enough time in detention to reflect on all the damage she and her husband did to the country? Or is she just holding back with plans to bare it all in court.

Only second to the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Arroyo lived in Malacañang longer than other Philippine presidents. She was in a unique position to bring about significant changes that could have had long-lasting positive effects on the country. Instead some say she allowed her husband, the first gentleman to create his own “mini fiefdom” in the country and skim illegal commissions off of large government contracts. Still others would say she did not need her husband to do nefarious deeds, she was corrupt and greedy all on her own.

The bottom line is this. If you are a former Philippine president and you are being accused of illegal deeds you have not done, you would move heaven and earth to let one and all know about your plight. And Filipinos in turn would be organizing and demonstrating for your release.

In Gloria Arroyo’s case, Filipinos are not clamoring for her release, nor is she actively making her case to the people. Is her silence because Arroyo knows that if people start digging deeper, they will only find more and more damaging evidence against her?

Arroyo and her husband seemed to have a preference for deals involving Communist China. The NBN-ZTE deal which blew up in their faces in 2007 and the earlier, clandestine Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking both placed the country at a great disadvantage vis-à-vis China, and both could have provided billions of pesos for the Arroyos and their equally corrupt cronies.

Barrister Amal Alamuddin ClooneyAmal Clooney, American actor George Clooney’s barrister wife, said she would defend Gloria Arroyo and in February of this year actually filed a case with a division of the UN Commission on Human Rights. But since then, we have not heard much from the celebrity lawyer. Even Amnesty International, an organization that should be outraged by Arroyo’s long detention has not bothered to give Arroyo even the fleeting concern that Clooney has shown.

At the end of the day, It seems Arroyo will have more time in her hospital suite to reflect on her legacy as well as what she did to the Macapagal name that her father Diosdado Macapagal, also a former president, worked a lifetime to safeguard.
Published 8/04/2015

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