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Marcos hid illness and paid for it; Arroyo should tell all - Imee

After more than two decades of silence, Ilocos Norte Rep. Imee Marcos yesterday admitted that her family deliberately concealed from the public that former President Ferdinand Marcos had a ‘debilitating illness.' She said that upon her father’s order, secrecy was maintained although he was in obvious pain. The former dictator was said to be suffering from lupus that time. At some point, the younger Marcos said, even the most superficial medical treatments on her father were carried out in a clandestine manner right in his own chambers. “It was too painful for us to see our father suffering. He didn’t deserve to be confined in his room and make do with the limited facilities of the Palace. His attending doctors can’t even bring in the basic medical equipment because of paranoia," Marcos recalled. She narrated that although their family wanted her father to seek medical treatment abroad, they were ‘restrained’ from doing so because even her father’s advisers were anxious that the report would leak out and raise more doubts about the then President’s ability to govern. Marcos made the disclosure as she appealed to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to ‘level with the people’ about the true state of her health. Mrs Arroyo was hospitalized twice last month, first for acute diarrhea and then for influenza. "I make this appeal not as a member of the opposition but out of compassion as a daughter whose father once kept his illness from the public until everything was out of hand. I urge Malacañang to go public with full details of the President’s health. The people deserve to know how serious Mrs. Arroyo’s illness is," the opposition lawmaker said. Marcos said that the current situation was similar to the last three years of her father’s administration. She said that ‘precarious nature of the country’ now makes efforts to learn about the true nature of the President’s health ‘understandable.’ Rumors of the former strongman’s failing health first surfaced in 1983 and persisted until his ouster in February 1986 due to a popular revolt. President Joseph Estrada, from his detention place in Tanay, Rizal, also expressed concern about reports of Arroyo’s frequent trips to the hospital. “I pray for her continued health," Estrada told reporters but was prevented from saying more by his police security detail. The detained leader formally filed his libel complaint yesterday against Blanquita and Joelle Pelaez and the editors and reporter of Manila Standard Today before a prosecutor sent by the Pasig City Prosecutor’s Office after the Sandiganbayan Special Division turned down his request for leave from detention.-GMANews.TV