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GMA moves to protect Veterans from sale

Former President now House Deputy Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo has moved to protect the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City from being sold, saying that government should instead modernize its facilities to better serve the medical needs of Filipino veterans, retired soldiers, and their dependents.

Arroyo spent at least four years under medical detention at the VMMC on two non-bailable charges filed by the Aquino administration which allegedly vouched the idea of selling the VMMC. She was later found innocent of the charges of plunder and electoral offense.

Former President now Manila Mayor Joseph E. Estrada was also placed under hospital arrest at the VMMC. He was convicted of plunder.

Among those reported to have eyed the commercial development of the 55-hectare property is the Ayala Group. It is the same group that won previous government’s approval to convert three nearby areas owned by the University of the Philippines and the National Housing Authority for commercial establishments.

Arroyo filed House Bill 1240 that will protect any sale or disposition of the VMMC and to further strengthen and modernize it to serve the medical needs of Filipino veterans, retired soldiers, and their dependents.

In filing HB 1240, Arroyo said VMMC should be given its own juridical personality to provide it greater flexibility and autonomy in its operations in order to serve its mission. (Ben R. Rosario)

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