“Right to travel” a shallow, one-dimensional angle in addressing Arroyo issues – Kiko

November 20, 2011

Press Release
November 20, 2011

Now that former president, now Pampanga representative, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is being arrested for electoral sabotage, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan points out that the “right to travel” issue was a “one-dimensional” angle that attempted to keep the larger issues of accountability and true justice away from public debate.

He says, “To view the raging controversy only from the issue of the ‘right to travel’ alone is to be one-dimensional and will definitely lead us to ignore all the other cases wherein the Supreme Court voted repeatedly to favor the interest of the Arroyos.”

“It is a classic case of not being able to tell the forest for the trees,” he adds.

Pangilinan reiterates his position a day after he released a statement raising serious concerns regarding the high court’s loyalty and duty to the Filipino people.

The lawmaker had said, “It is my view that one cannot look at the TRO controversy involving Gloria and Mike Arroyo simply as a textbook case in constitutional law. It has to be viewed from a larger context to include the fact that: 1) the persons involved are a former president and former first gentleman, both of whom have been subject of numerous invetigations involving allegations of illegal activities to the tune of billions of pesos; 2) a Chief Justice appointed by the former president under a shroud of doubtful legality for allegedly being a midnight appointment; 3) a Supreme Court faced with a string of controversial cases that have eroded its reputation–including the TRO on the House of Representatives in its impeachement proceedings against (former Ombudsman) Mercy Gutierrez, who has been accused of sitting on cases involving both GMA and Mike Arroyo; the voiding of the Truth Commission meant to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by Gloria and Mike Arroyo; and now this TRO in favor of Mike and Gloria Arroyo.”

The lawmaker also cites the high court’s tarnished image because of the reversal of some of its high-profile decisions, including “its flip-flopping four times on the cityhood case (of 16 municipalities) and its flip-flop on the FASAP case, (which have) likewise raised eyebrows as to the manner in which the SC conducts its business.”

“All these should, at the minimum, make us pause and think seriously about the role of the SC in all these cases involving the former president and first gentleman. One cannot help but wonder if the SC is upholding the interest of the nation and its people, or if it has become, as earlier feared, a court beholden to the Arroyos and ready to do as told by the Arroyos.”