When the Going Gets Tough in the Philip…

When former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo entered St. Luke’s Medical Center in Manila on July 28 for what was termed a “risky” operation reportedly to correct a pinched nerve in her spine, she was following in a long Filipino tradition. With five plunder charges filed against the 64-year-old former chief executive, a quiet hospital room apparently seemed like the best bet. According to a report by the Manila-based Pacific Strategies and Assessments: “Hiding under the cloak of ‘basic human rights,’ a number of defendants have sought shelter from hospitals or cited medical excuses to delay investigations or prolong court hearings.”

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