By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang yesterday said it was not aware of any special arrangements with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her family to leave the country without passing through immigration.
STAR columnist Sara Soliven de Guzman wrote that the Arroyos flew to the United States last Wednesday night without passing through immigration.
Citing information from sources, de Guzman said the Arroyos arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 around 6 p.m. in three cars. The convoy entered the VIP tarmac where they were held for 30 minutes for clearing.
Soliven de Guzman wrote that Arroyo supposedly left for a speaking engagement. The columnist, however, questioned the need to bring her whole family and bypass immigration. There were speculations that the Arroyos fled the country, fearing the charges that might be filed against them now that former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez – an appointee and close ally of hers – had resigned.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Arroyos were probably just “on vacation.” He also said the Palace does not have information on Arroyo’s itinerary or her supposed speaking engagement.