Former Philippines President, now Congresswoman Gloria Arroyo was stopped from boarding a plane at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Tuesday, November 15 hours after the country's Supreme Court overruled government-imposed restrictions on her travels.
The Philippines government fears that Arroyo, who is facing allegations of corruption and electoral fraud, will flee if allowed to leave the country.
But the Supreme Court ruled 8-5 in favor of a temporary restraining order on the travel ban, declaring it was unconstitutional as Arroyo has yet to be formally charged with a crime. A Supreme Court spokesman, Midas Marquez, told reporters the court's ruling was "consistent with the constitutional presumption of innocence." Those 8 justices were among the midnight appointees of the former President.
The former first couple was "Subjected to indignity and embarrassment at the airport", Arroyo's lawyer, Raul Lambino, told CNN, calling the government's defiance of the Supreme Court order "abhorrent and in violation of the rights of the individual guaranteed by the (Philippine's) constitution and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
But presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda described the situation as "all high drama," according to media reports. "They (the Arroyos) want the public to sympathize with them," he added.
He said that while the Arroyo couple would be treated with dignity, the government would be "firm in our decision not to allow them to leave the country." Arroyo's husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, is also accused of corruption.
The Supreme Court, which is mostly staffed by judges hired under Arroyo, defied current President Benigno Aquino's stated mandate of investigating allegations of corruption during Arroyo's 2001-2010 presidential term. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the government intends to appeal the court's decision.
Lambino told CNN that even though the government plans to file a motion for reconsideration, its defiance of the Supreme Court order yesterday was nevertheless "illegal."
While browsing the net a while ago, we wanted to include the following “achievements” under the Arroyo administration.
1. NBN ZTE Scandal
2. Millions of bribe money to Congressmen and Governors (October 2007)
3. Cheating in 2004 Elections (Hello Garci Controversy)
4. Joc Joc Bolante Case (Fertilizer Scam, P728 Million)
5. Jose Pidal Bank Account (Unexplained Wealth, P200 Million)
6. Nani Perez Power Plant Deal ($2 Million)
7. Use of Road User's Tax for Campaigning
8. Billion Peso Macapagal Boulevard (Overprice of P532 Million)
9. Juetengate (Illegal Numbers game kickbacks)
10. Extra Judicial Killings
11. Arroyo Money in Germany (Exposed by Senator Cayetano)
12. General Garcia and Other Military Men
13. Billion Peso Poll Automation contract to (Mega Pacific) (P1.3 Billion)
14. North Rail Project ($503 Million)
15. Maguindanao Results of 2007 Elections (Zubiri, Bedol)
17. Venable Contract (Norberto Gonzales)
18. Swine Scam (Exposed by Atty. Harry Roque)
19. GLORIA Arroyo son hidden assets in United States
20. EURO GENERAL'S
21. CALAMITY FUND SCANDAL.
22. The C-5 road controversy — Senator Manuel Villar
23. P550-million worth of funds from the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA).
24. P780-million LWUA funds-Prospero Pichay
25. Bishop's SUV-Gloria Birthday gift
26. Arroyo linked in P325M lotto intelligence fund
27. Arroyo got P200M in kickbacks from govt projects-Zaldy Ampatuan
28. P200.41 billion or $4.6 billion in Malampaya royalties from 2002 to May this year.
29. LACSON ACCUSED FG MIKE ARROYO OF SELLING 3 REFURBISHED HELICOPTERS TO PNP AT P105 MILLION EACH
30. 600, 000 metric tons of Rotten rice imported from India.Kishore Hemlani, an Indian trader allegedly close to Arroyo, reportedly bagged the P9.5 billion contract for the rice importation.
31. Dato Arroyo wife bought the condo unit for $570, 000, 70-square-meter one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit (Unit No. 533) at the luxury high-rise, full-service Gramercy Towers located at 1177 California St. in upscale downtown San Francisco.
32. P50-million bribe to FG for the president's veto of two franchise bills
33. The additional funding led to a 41-percent spike in advertising expenses, from P76.129 million in 2008 to P107.420 million in 2009, which went mostly to ads for Arroyo's achievements.
34. The report said the PIA received from the Department of Budget and Management a notice of cash allocations amounting to P344.789 million, even though only P222.488 million was appropriated for it under the national budget.
35. Denial of pork barrel funds to Malacanang's political enemies
36. Praises for Jovito Palparan, alleged mastermind of extra judicial killings of militants
37. Removal of gov't bodyguards for former President and Arroyo critic, Cory Aquino
38. Appointment of manicurist as a member of the board of Pag-Ibig
39. Appointment of gardener as deputy of the Luneta Park Administration.
40. Midnight appointment of Arroyo: RENATO CORONA, as SC Chief Justice including 200+ other illegal midnight appointments
"Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country." - Karl Kraus