MANILA, Philippines — Being the workaholic that she is known for, detained Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo filed another bill at the House of Representatives, days after filing House Bill No. 6608, entitled the Medical Parole Act of 2012.
Ailing former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is once again in detention this time for plunder, is seeking a medical parole for prisoners suffering from an incapacitating physical condition, like herself.
The measure is in response to the “overwhelming number” of inmates who die in prison due to medical complications, according to the explanatory note to the bill, which Arroyo coauthored with her son, Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo.
“For humanitarian considerations, the grant of a medical parole should be allowed since all persons must be treated with dignity, whether in or out of prison, and irrespective of the crime committed,” the note stated. (from Inquirer.net)
House Bill No. 7249, or the Anti-Jokes About Detained Ailing Former Presidents Act of 2012 aims to criminalize the cracking of jokes, whether in public or in private gatherings, about sick former leaders of the country that is being detained by the authorities.
Under the proposed law, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) will be authorized in monitoring the jokes delivered by various individuals targeting disgraced former presidents.
“With the approval of the NBI and the DOJ, the MTRCB and the NTC shall block any form of transmission bearing jokes about disgraced former presidents and prevent said material from airing, to prevent any discomfort or embarrassment that the said material might cause to the ailing former head of state,” said the lawmaker in their explanatory note to the bill.
“These jokers should consider the welfare and emotional distress that their jokes bring. For humanitarian considerations, all presidents must be treated with dignity, whether in or out of prison, and irrespective of the crime committed,” the note stated.
“It might be funny to the public, but it sure is not funny to our family,” said Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo, who also coauthored this bill. He was referring to a joke that President Benigno Aquino III delivered in front of a Filipino community in Auckland, New Zealand last Monday.
The authors of the bill are also mulling the possibility of including a list of “banned words” to help in the drafting of the implementing rules & regulations (IRR) once the bill has been passed. Said words should not be used in conjunction with each other in a sentence or phrase that has former ailing presidents as their topics.
Sample of “banned words” includes:
- Neck Brace or Halo Vest
- Choking on watermelon
- Spine or spinal ailments
- Dr. Raul Lambino
- Ill gotten wealth
- Stunted growth
- Alternative medicine
According to the younger Arroyo, the list is not yet final, and additional words may be added at the event that doctors find other ailments or sickness his mother might have.
Arroyo, who has neck, spine and heart ailments, has been returned to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) where she has been detained after the Sandiganbayan ordered her arrest earlier this month for plunder stemming from the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds.
Arroyo earlier left the VMMC on bail in July after she was charged with electoral sabotage. (from Inquirer.net)
HB 7249 was just filed earlier this morning and is waiting the schedule for the first reading in the House of Representatives.