The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday maintained its decision in issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the watchlist order on the Arroyo couple.
At the same time, SC has ordered Department of Justice Leila de Lima to explain why she did not heed the TRO issued by the high court Tuesday.
High court spokesman Midas Marquez said SC has denied the solicitor general's motion for reconsideration on the TRO, effectively allowing former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband, Jose Miguel to leave the country.
"I'm calling on executive officials, the court has already, in effect, reiterated its TRO. I hope this TRO will be respected and complied with," Marquez said.
SC also asks lawyer Ferdinand Topacio to submit supplemental compliance showing his authority to receive court summons.
Malacanang however is firm that Arroyo still can't fly because the Arroyo camp has not complied with SC's order to Topacio, and that the formal resolution has yet to arrive at the Palace.
"We are waiting for the formal resolution, we cannot rely on an announcement from a court administrator," said Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
Lacierda noted that Malacanang also wishes Arroyo well on her health but any hurried attempt to leave the country will only worsen her condition.
"May we request the former president to remain in the hospital," he added.
Marquez noted that SC also dismissed a motion to move the oral arguments, and the original schedule stays.
He added that the electoral sabotage case filed by the Commission on Election before the Pasay RTC is altogether a different case.
Contempt vs. De Lima
Marquez said De Lima should explain herself within the "non-extendable" period of 10 days on her refusal to acknowledge the TRO.
It was De Lima who ordered the Bureau of Immigration not to allow the Arroyos to fly to Singapore Wednesday.
"DoJ Sec. Leila de Lima is directed to show cause and comply within non-extendable period of 10 days why she should not be held in contempt of court," Marquez said.
He said De Lima should also explain her "disrespect to Supreme Court."
If proven guilty, De Lima may face a fine of not more than P30,000 or an imprisonment of a maximum of six months, or both.
On Thursday, the Arroyos dropped their plans to fly to Singapore to seek medical treatment due to health problems. Reports say the couple are flying out Friday night.
Lawyer Raul Lambino said in a separate television interview that Arroyo is now taking dozens of tablets a day.
"She's taking up more than 25 tablets everyday, some injectables. You can see the kind of situation she's now in, sana ay matignan kung ano talaga ang mabuti para sa kaniyang kalusugan," he said.
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