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Gov’t should keep tight watch on Arroyos

/ 02:59 AM November 22, 2011

The job of the justice secretary is to see to it that due process is observed and the ends of justice are attained. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was merely doing her job when she revealed recently that she had acquired information that former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo might be planning to seek political asylum in faraway Dominican Republic to escape prosecution for plunder and electoral sabotage.

De Lima, as an alter ego of the President, is well within her right to explore all angles and all possibilities on the cases against Arroyo. The charges against former President Arroyo are serious, and the Aquino administration is doing the right thing in ensuring that whatever wrongdoing was done in the previous administration must be redressed and those found guilty must be punished.

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Arroyo may indeed be very sick. But as the Philippine Medical Association has pointed out, her illness can be treated by our homegrown doctors. Her camp seems intent on making a mockery of the Philippine justice system and facilitating her escape from prosecution and that is the reason it insists that she be allowed to travel abroad and seek treatment for her rare disease.

Once Arroyo and her retinue step out of Naia, authorities can kiss the charges of plunder and electoral fraud goodbye, for in all likelihood she would seek political asylum, if not in the Dominican Republic, then in Spain or Portugal or any other country with which we do not have an extradition treaty.

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The DOJ should keep Ms Arroyo and members of her family facing criminal charges under a tight watch lest they flee to parts unknown and make the Aquino administration the laughingstock of the whole world for allowing them to get away.

—JENNIFER NICDAO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Arroyo Health, Arroyo Travel, crime, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Government, justice, politics
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