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Victory for VMMC

Two days after Christmas, four days to the New Year, and the best of the good news comes from the desk of Pampanga Rep. and former President GMA.

Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, reports the Philippine News Agency, “wants to give the Veterans Memorial Medical Center its own juridical personality and modernize it to serve the medical needs of Filipino veterans, retired soldiers and their dependents.”

Whatever a “juridical personality” is, the best part of her House Bill No. 1240 would protect the hospital and its core zone from being “sold, transferred, ceded, conveyed, assigned and encumbered” – everything that the former administration attempted to pull off, in the guise of creating a “transportation hub” in the already traffic-choked vicinity of two huge malls and the NLEX access. For many agonizing months that saw another ex-President, FVR, rallying to the cause to stop then secretaries Voltaire Gazmin of DND and Joseph Emilio Abaya of DOTC from carving out a chunk of Quezon City’s last remaining mini-forest-in-the-city, war veterans and their dependents, hospital staff, and QC residents knocked on heaven’s door, pleading and praying for VMMC to be saved from “development.”

Now Ms. Arroyo, having been detained in that very hospital for four years until a new government came along, is paying it forward. From her colorless suite she must have seen and envied the golfers riding in their carts to and from the golf course, she must have wished she could keep the old trees old and the green grass green, she must have wondered what dysfunctional minds would want to dispossess veterans of many wars at home and abroad of a hospital that has served generations of soldiers, heroes, and former presidents.

VMMC was pulled from the wicked jaws of “progress” in the nick of time – only because the Aquino administration was coming to an end and time had run out on them. Thank God for the election season of 2016. Thanks to GMA, VMMC has found a guardian angel who will protect it from predators. (Jullie Y. Daza)