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Arroyo security adviser ‘OK’ after angioplasty

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:08:00 09/10/2008

MANILA, Philippines — National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said he was okay after undergoing an angioplasty late Tuesday.

The procedure sidelined Gonzales from his trip to Malaysia on Wednesday, to inform Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi of the change in President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s peace policy.

Malaysia is the third party facilitator of peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which had been placed in the backburner after rebel commanders attacked civilian communities in Central Mindanao last month.

The attacks came after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against the signing of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain between the government and the MILF in Malaysia.

“I had an angioplasty. I’m okay,” Gonzales said in a text message to on Wednesday.

Gonzales said Deputy National Security Adviser Milo Ibrado would take over his post until Monday, when he is expected to return to work.

In a phone interview, Gonzales laughed off observations that his heart ailment was caused by the appointment of former Ilocos Sur governor and defeated senatorial candidate Luis “Chavit” Singson as one of his deputies.

“Nagkataon lang [It’s coincidence],” he said.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Director General Pedro Cabuay left for Malaysia on Wednesday to meet with Badawi, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said.

Dureza said the Philippine contingent would thank Malaysia for brokering the negotiations and inform Malaysian officials of the Arroyo government’s policy shift.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-09-10T08:29:27+00:00UTC09bUTCWed, 10 Sep 2008 08:29:27 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am09

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