While the protagonists see this development as a move to prevent her from escaping justice or enjoying her right to travel, it could also be seen as a bid to save Arroyo lawyer Ferdinand Topacio’s egg.
Topacio has promised to cut one egg if Arroyo is allowed to leave the country but won’t return. But we know (even Topacio in a Freudian slip we blogged about earlier) that Arroyo has no plans of returning. The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold its temporary restraining order, in effect, could have made this testicular tragedy possible. Kalu-oy sa itlog if ever.
But, as Political Affairs Secretary Ronald Llamas said, the Pasay RTC case could be the ‘game changer.’
The egg controversy stirred not just Twitter with the hash tag #itlognitopacio becoming one of the top trends for two days. In my related Facebook posts and shares, lawyer Des Villamar and Manila Tribune columnist Jesse Bacon gave me meaty rejoinders:
Wala mo kasabot sa legal implications of upholding the watch list order. It means that anybody who will be a subject of a complaint in DOJ, whether that complaint is fabricated or just a rumor, even without an order from the court, the DOJ Secretary may issue a WLO. This goes beyond GMA. Kung duna nasuya sa imo nga kusog connection sa DOJ, puede ka ma issue-han og WLO even if you are really innocent.
I used to handle the issuance and lifting of watchlist and hold departure orders when I was technical assistant for legal affairs of the Immigration Commissioner during Cory’s time. The watchlist order was only for monitoring purposes. It could not hold departure of people. The hold departure order was the order which held departure of passengers. But we did not issue it unless there was an order from the court. Ramos’ DOJ Sec. Bebot Bello confirmed it in a recent interview in ANC. The title of the orders speak for themselves. Watch list order – you just watch, as against hold departure order – you hold the departure. It was Raul Gonzalez who changed the nature of the WLO. They used it to harass and oppress people. Murag na karma si GMA.
Thanks that the Comelec case changed that for now. I agree, the watch list order should be merely for watching, not preventing people from leaving. De Lima risked her balls in defying the High Court’s TRO but reference to her balls is metaphorical.
The watch list order v. Arroyo was issued on the strength of Arroyo-era circular. The question is, can the government through the Justice department issue such watch list? Let’s answer this question by looking at the authority exercised by the Labor Dept. to prevent a would-be OFW from leaving for one reason or another or that of the PCGG which were never questioned nor ruled by the SC as unconstitutional. It means that it is within the right of the government, the Executive branch specifically, to prevent any citizen from leaving the country such as what is being exercised by the DOJ now. Is it right for the DOJ not to implement the SC issued TRO? Let’s try to answer this question from the common sense rule in looking at the law. Common sense would tell us that Arroyo does not need to have herself treated abroad for her illness can be treated here as stated by the Health Secretary and other medical experts. Her present condition is not life-threatening the fact that she was able to attempt to leave the country Tuesday evening. There are several charges filed against her for plunder, electoral sabotage and corruption. Common sense would tell us that allowing her to leave the ccuntry is just like letting the Ramona Bautista escape from being repeated again in the case of Arroyo. Common sense thus tells us that she should not be allowed to leave in the interest of justice. The SC is expected to breathe life into the law to make it serve the general weal. The TRO definitely serves only the interest of Arroyo and never the general weal. Should this be allowed? It does not mean that simply because it is the SC that issued the TRO, it did not err. Are we to follow blatantly erroneous rulings by a partisan justices who are beholden not to the rule of law but to Gloria Arroyo? I don’t think this is right.
It seems GMA also holds majority of the justices by the balls (both balls and not just one). Unfortunately for them, Leila de Lima showed real, independent balls.
- Why bet only one ball? Topacio wants one left because GMA won’t return! (politika2013.wordpress.com)
- [In the Web] Gloria Arroyo stopped a woman, with an illness and a case just like hers, from leaving the country for four year (dars0357.wordpress.com)
- Philippines Approves Poll Fraud Charges Vs Arroyo (abcnews.go.com)
- Clinton: US would consider Arroyo’s treatment bid (sfgate.com)