Accused should be barred from leaving
I fully agree with the stand taken by the Inquirer in its Nov. 14 editorial not to allow Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to leave the country for medical treatment abroad. While our Constitution upholds every citizen’s right to travel, this right is not absolute. Those facing charges before the courts must be cleared first by competent judicial authority before they are allowed to leave or else they can make a complete mockery of our judicial system by fleeing to countries with which we have no extradition treaty.
If justice is to be upheld, then Arroyo should be “man” enough to face the plunder charges against her. She must not be allowed to leave until the six plunder charges and the electoral sabotage case against her have been dismissed by the proper judicial bodies.
We cannot take her word that she would immediately come back to the Philippines upon completion of the medical procedure she wants to undergo. She has lied before and she may be lying again. Remember when she said she would not run for president and yet broke her promise and ran in 2004? Remember as well that she said on nationwide TV, “I’m sorry” for the “Hello Garci” caper. She said she was sorry for a “lapse in judgment,” but she did not categorically admit any wrongdoing.
If the Aquino administration is determined to uphold the daang matuwid, then the law should be applied equally to all. Those who helped Arroyo plunder our country’s coffers and undermine our electoral processes must be haled to court as well. We cannot have a double standard of justice, one for the rich and powerful and another for the poor and downtrodden.
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