BY USING the patently unconstitutional Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo circular to prevent her from going abroad, the Aquino administration demonstrated that it is not above humiliating its political opponents like what more traditional politicians do.
I submit that the Arroyos must be investigated thoroughly to determine if they really robbed the country and abused their political power as many Aquino allies alleged, charged in court and punished if found guilty but it is wrong for the sitting administration to use undemocratic means against them.
There is an old adage which is very much valid today that says: “we cannot correct a mistake by committing another mistake.”
It is a cruel move that the Arroyos were prevented to leave the country early this week by the justice department using a 2010 justice department circular numbered 41 which GMA herself approved.
In a move then perceived to be intended for her political opponents, former President Arroyo approved the issuance by her Justice Secretary Alberto Agra of a circular governing the department’s issuances and implementation of hold-departure orders, watchlist orders and allow-departure orders.
Section 2.b of that circular specifically says a watchlist order may be issued by the DOJ “against the respondent, irrespective of nationality, in criminal cases pending preliminary investigation, petition for review, or motion for reconsideration before the Department of Justice or any of its provincial or city prosecution offices.”
I suspect GMA never imagined that a year later she herself would be placed on the government’s watchlist following the filing of numerous cases of plunder, graft and poll fraud against her and husband Mike Arroyo.
It thus becomes a comedy of sort when Arroyo’s lawyer questions the same circular as “dangerously evil.”
Raul Lambino, Arroyo’s lawyer, claimed there is nothing more base or foul—“dangerously evil,” than the DOJ watchlist.
“We believe that the evil called the watchlist order of the DOJ secretary, which has dangerous effects far greater than a hold-departure order issued by the regular courts, would still be around even if De Lima will allow the former president to leave.”
“Such a dangerous evil must be obliterated once and for all for the sake of every individual in the country.
Unless and until the Supreme Court rules on this fundamental issue, everyone will be at the mercy of De Lima’s whim and caprices,” Lambino said.
So in effect what Lambino is saying is that the circular is valid when his client in Malacañang’s tenant but it is now without legal basis now since GMA is already out of the people’s palace.
Does boredom wear you down or is there just a nagging feeling that you want to get away from the metropolis and be with mother-nature?
Then go and visit Bato Springs in barangay San Cristobal, San Pablo City.
Located at the foot of the mystical Mt. Banahaw, Bato Springs is just one hour and 30 minute drive from Manila.
You have a spacious parking space that could even accommodate tourist buses and first class amenities for all your business and pleasure needs.
For more information call Ms. Elaine Garchitorena at 0495620976.