Lacson Suggests ‘Solomonic’ Solution on Arroyo Foreign Trip

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Sunday suggested to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima a “Solomonic” solution in addressing former President Gloria Arroyo’s request to seek medical treatment abroad. 

Lacson said that while Mrs. Arroyo should be allowed to seek the best medical treatment for her spine and neck problems, she should also do her part to make sure the proceedings in the charges against her are not delayed by her absence.

“My unsolicited advice to Sec. de Lima is to do a King Solomon: Allow ex-President Arroyo to leave for treatment abroad but only after she has submitted her counter-affidavit on the electoral sabotage and plunder case that she is being accused of, so as not to derail the preliminary investigations being conducted by the DOJ prosecutors,” he said.

“This way, her absence cannot delay the filing of information in court and the subsequent issuance of warrants of arrest against her by the court in case probable cause is established,” he added.

Presently, the DOJ is still studying a request by Mrs. Arroyo to seek medical treatment abroad. Mrs. Arroyo faces possible charges, including electoral fraud in the 2007 elections.

Earlier reports indicated Mrs. Arroyo had appealed that she be allowed to seek medical treatment abroad on the promise that she would return.

Mrs. Arroyo had obtained permission from the House of Reprsentatives to travel to Singapore, Spain, Germany, Italy and the United States from October 22 to December.

She plans to seek treatment for “hypoparathyroidism,” a condition caused by lack of calcium production in the body, which has aggravated her neck and spine problems.

But on Friday, de Lima said Mrs. Arroyo will have to spend All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days in the Philippines as the Justice Department is not likely to decide on her request until this coming week.