Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Senators support SC decision on Arroyos

Senators said they supported the Supreme Court decision that would allow former president now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and husband Juan Miguel “Mike” Arroyo to travel abroad for medical treatment.

The Supreme Court, in an 8-5 decision, voted in favor of issuing a temporary restraining order against the watchlist order of the Department of Justice against the Arroyo couple.

“The decision of the Supreme Court is fair and reasonable. While I believe that PGMA has to answer for a lot of things, she should be made to do so under the proper constitutional processes,” Senator Francis Escudero said.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago also commended the decision.

Earlier, the DOJ, through a watchlist order, banned the Arroyos from leaving the country to protect the national interest.

Santiago, however, pointed out that the justice department has no legal basis to issue a hold departure on its own and that national interest is not an exception to rule out an individual’s fundamental right to travel.

Senator Panfilo Lacson also concurred that the justice department mishandled the issuance of the watchlist order which was wrongly implemented as a hold departure order.

He added that the DOJ was testing its powers and failed to conduct a preliminary investigation, file the information in court and wait for the warrant of arrest to be issued.

To prevent the Arroyos from leaving and from facing the accusations against them, Escudero said that appropriate charges must be filed in court.

“This is the proper legal action which does not circumvent constitutional and basic rights,” he said.

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