NBI probes leak on PGMA’s hospitalization RE: Breast implant

Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

MANILA – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) began Monday a probe into the leaked information on President Arroyo’s hospital stay at the Asian Hospital last week.

The NBI has already taken statements from three individuals at the hospital regarding the possible violation of the rule on doctor-patient confidentiality.

Meanwhile, all Monday appointments of the President were cancelled, with Palace officials saying it is still in connection with her self-imposed quarantine and her recent hospital stay.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde earlier denied that Malacañang ordered the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa City to find out who told media about medical procedures done to the President while she was on self-imposed quarantine at the hospital last week.

“It is not true [that we ordered it]. If Asian Hospital is doing an investigation, they are doing it on their own and we did not request it,” Remonde told radio dzMM.

The press secretary said the President will continue to visit the medical facility because her gynecologist works there. Mrs. Arroyo also undergoes medical check-ups at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City.

He also refused to comment on Mrs. Arroyo’s failure to attend a scheduled visit to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in Makati City for a signing ceremony. A statement on the PSE website read: “Please be notified that Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s visit to PSE Ayala on Monday, July 6, 2009, is canceled.”

Remonde has been under fire since last week after he denied and then later clarified news reports that Mrs. Arroyo had checked in at the prestigious hospital to have her breast implants removed. “Si Presidente ba mukha na iyong tipo ng babae na magpapaganun (Is the President the type of woman who would do that [breast augmentation])?” the press secretary told reporters.

He later made an about-face about the breast implants, saying that she had them done 20 years ago. He denied, however, that these were the reason why she was hospitalized.

Palace officials earlier said Mrs. Arroyo volunteered to quarantine herself after a two-week trip despite relaxed Influenza A (H1N1) quarantine guidelines from the Department of Health. It was later learned that Mrs. Arroyo attended the golden wedding anniversary of a top foreign affairs official before going to hospital.

Remonde insisted that Mrs. Arroyo checked in at the hospital for self-quarantine, “and at the same time, to take the opportunity to get complete medical check-ups.”

She said the President was declared in good health after biopsies were conducted on lumps found on her breast and groin.

“The result of the biopsy is negative. The President is in good health. That’s the best proof of her health,” he said, adding that she is scheduled to meet her Cabinet on Tuesday,

He said Mrs. Arroyo will again be leaving the country to attend a meeting of foreign leaders at th 15th Non-Aligned Movement Meeting from July 15 to 16 in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh.