Arroyo denies role in Sabah standoff
MANILA, Philippines—Former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is aghast at President Aquino’s accusations that a conspiracy involving people identified with her administration was behind the excursion into Sabah of the followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III to reclaim the island.
“She was shocked. I myself said, ‘What’s this?’ He might also accuse Gloria of being behind the death by firing squad of [our national hero Jose] Rizal,” said Mike Arroyo, the former President’s husband.
In a television statement, the President said officials of the previous Arroyo administration may be involved in the alleged conspiracy. He said cases were “being built up” against the conspirators.
Aquino said evidence was still being gathered on the possible role of the former President.
Minority Leader Danilo Suarez scoffed at the President’s linking of Arroyo administration figures to the Sabah conflict. Arroyo was detained in a hospital, without even a cell phone at her disposal, he said.
“This is just another smokescreen tactic of this administration to divert public attention to the real issue at hand, which is its failure to uphold the sovereign claim of the republic,” he said.