Wednesday, November 16, 2011

President Arroyo Back to Hospital after Failed Attempt to Leave the Country

President Arroyo held at the airport despite TRO
The Bureau of Immigration prevented former President Gloria Arroyo from leaving the country Tuesday night at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1. They were expected to board the Dragon Air flight at 8:50 pm but was later told by the BI officials that they can't leave the country despite the issuance of the TRO by the Supreme Court. The former President was forced to go back to St Luke's Medical Center.

Earlier that day, the Supreme Court decided to allow the former President to exercise her freedom to travel and seek medical treatment abroad. Some of the conditions set by the highest court include posting of P2 million bond, appointing a lawyer that will receive subpoenas and will represent them in court proceedings, a call or visit in the Philippine embassy where they are expected to seek medical treatment.

Justices Voted for and Against the TRO

The justices that voted for the issuance of the TRO were Chief Justice Renato Corona, Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Roberto Abad, Martin Villarama, and Jose Perez

Five justices who opposed the decision were Senior Justice Antonio Carpio, Assoc. Justices Maria Lourdes Sereno, Bienvenido Reyes, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, & Jose Mendoza. Two justices were on leave.

The 8-5 decision made the Arroyos decide to immediately comply with the conditions and booked several flights to Singapore. However, the DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima maintained their stand that the Arroyos could not leave the country because  they have not receive a copy of the TRO and they will still contest the ruling of the highest court.

Debate on the Legality of Watchlist Order and Dishonor of the SC Decision

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Supreme Court, Justice Midas Marquez argued that the TRO is already in effect and executory. This now leads to various sentiments and opinions whether the government is now acting beyond its power.

The camp of the former president will file a case in court citing in contempt the Secretary of Justice for not honoring the TRO. Other constitutionalists says that this could lead to constitutional crisis. Pro and anti Gloria have different opinions on this issue. Others said that the government should follow the order of the supreme court while others hails the DOJ for taking a hard stand on the case.

The case of plunder, electoral sabotage and cases have yet to be filed in court against the Arroyos. They are still in the preliminary investigation. If the former President leaves the country it will be difficult for the administration to put her in jail.

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