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MANILA, Philippines – The government and the camp of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are caught in a standoff as to when and how she should be transferred from St. Luke’s hospital to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.
Elena Bautista-Horn, spokesperson of Mrs. Arroyo, told reporters at past 10am today that the Arroyo couple are refusing a helicopter ride to Veterans due to bad weather.
Horn’s media briefing at St. Luke’s happened minutes after a helicopter — apparently intended to fetch the former president — landed at the helipad of the posh hospital. Previous to this, an ambulance and a convoy left the hospital, triggering media frenzy. The convoy, which turned out to be a decoy, eventually reached the Veterans.
Horn said a chopper ride was never mentioned by the government in their negotiations with them.
But Interior Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo belied Horn’s claim. He told media it’s the National Police, not the Arroyo camp, that has the authority to make the final decision on the mode of transfer.
Under normal weather, Robredo said they will take Mrs. Arroyo to Veterans via a chopper. The order is to transfer her within the day, he added.
The Department of Education has already suspended classes in elementary and high school levels due to the rains.