National security adviser ailing, can’t go to KL

By Christine Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:36:00 09/10/2008

MANILA, Philippines—National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales may undergo angioplasty, a source close to the GRP-MILF peace panel told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

He has been advised by his doctors not to go to Malaysia on Wednesday for discussions with Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi on the government’s new peace policy in dealing with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Only this week, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo formally appointed former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson as deputy National Security Adviser.

Another source close to the peace panel, but also not authorized to speak on the matter, said Gonzales was confined Tuesday in a Quezon City hospital and undergoing medical tests. However, the source could not confirm if Gonzales would undergo angioplasty.

Angioplasty is a medical procedure to restore blood flow through a narrowed or blocked artery in the heart.

The first source said only Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and the newly appointed chief of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Pedro Cabuay would be going to Kuala Lumpur to “officially notify” Malaysia that the Philippines will no longer sign the controversial memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) with the MILF following the adoption of a new peace policy.

Same ailment

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita confirmed Tuesday night that Gonzales was no longer going to Malaysia “because of his personal health.”

Ermita, however, was not sure if Gonzales would undergo angioplasty.

He said Gonzales was suffering from the same condition that was ailing him during the Senate hearings on the Venable lobby contract in 2005.

In September 2005, at the height of his testimony before the Senate blue ribbon committee, Gonzales suffered from high blood pressure and was taken to the hospital.

Back then, he was advised by his doctors to undergo a “coronary and cerebral arteriography with the possibility of coronary angioplasty and stenting.”

Ms Arroyo had been informed by Gonzales about his condition during Tuesday’s Cabinet security cluster meeting, Ermita said.

‘I hope he’s well’

Esperon, presidential adviser on the peace process, said he had not been informed at press time if Gonzales, who is the “head of the mission,” would be proceeding with the trip or not.

“I know he (Gonzales) went for a medical check up Tuesday,” Esperon said in a separate phone interview. “I hope he’s well.”

Esperon confirmed that the trip to Kuala Lumpur would be to officially notify Malaysia about the government’s decision not to sign the MOA-AD with the MILF following a new peace policy.

Malaysia had been brokering peace negotiations between the government and the MILF and served as host to the aborted signing of the MOA-AD last Aug. 5.

Refocused peace talks

Ms Arroyo earlier announced that the government was refocusing its peace talks from dialogs with armed groups to dialogs with communities. She said the government would only engage in talks with armed groups in the context of laying down their arms.

Esperon said they would be bringing a letter from President Arroyo to Badawi.

Aside from Badawi, he said he would also meet with other officials, including the Malaysian foreign minister.

The Inquirer called Gonzales several times but failed to reach him.


My Take:

Same ailment? Or same tactic?

Maybe the NSAdviser needs tons of bananas to recover.

🙂 Maybe they’ll invoke the Executive Previlige next time. hehehehe!

Maybe, tehee.

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