Dato Arroyo hits harassment by activists

Posted at 07/26/2012 10:35 AM | Updated as of 07/26/2012 5:04 PM

'There are people who don't really like us,' says GMA's youngest son

MANILA, Philippines – Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday revealed that one of the lessons taught by his mother, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, is that there are people who will not always like them.

“My mom has always told us and even my grandfather, the former president, said ‘Ito ang buhay na papasukin niyo.’ This is a part of it. Not many people will like you. There are also many people who will not agree with anything you say at all. That’s part of it. Tanggap na namin yan,” he told ANC’s Headstart.

Protesters block the path of the bus carrying former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as it exits the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on Wednesday. Arroyo was released from hospital detention after her petition for bail was granted. Photo by Fernando Sepe, Jr. for ABS-CBNnews.com

He said what saddens him is when people who protest against their family go out of line. He said protesters at the Veterans’ Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City started banging on their coaster after they left the hospital yesterday.

“Nakakalungkot lang minsan like yung kahapon ano – I understand perfectly that everyone has a right to protest. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion but to start banging on the Coaster tapos may mga bata at babae don - kailangan pa bang gawin yun? Siguo naman may limitasyon,” he said.

“Be that as it may, alam namin na all this is part of what the life we have chosen,” he added.

Asked how he copes with the criticism, he said: “I ignore them. We just concentrate on what we do and our work.”

Mrs. Arroyo was granted bail on election fraud charges on Wednesday and walked out of an Army hospital where she had been detained since December. Her release came on the same day a Pasay City regional trial court allowed her to post bail of P1 million in the electoral sabotage case against her.

Caught by surprise

In the interview, Dato Arroyo said the entire family was caught by surprise by the court’s decision to grant bail.

He said Arroyo’s grandkids were especially happy to see their grandmother back home. “The happiest are the grandkids. It was the first time nakasama nila siya at home."

He also noted that his mother lost a lot of weight while in detention. The former President now weighs less than 100 pounds.

“She really lost a lot of weight. She weighs less than 100 pounds. Hindi na kasya mga damit. She has a hard time eating aside from all this pressure. Physically, she has a hard time swallowing because of that thing in her spine piercing her esophagus. She takes 4-5 bites and then tama na,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said his mother remains strong physically and emotionally despite her illness.

“We follow the lead of our mom. Our mother is a very strong person. She may be frail physically but emotionally and spiritually, she is a very strong person. When you see that, nakakahawa din yun,” he said.