Naruto and Gloria’s watch-list order-A A +A
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I THINK it was in Facebook where a wise guy captioned a photo of the head-braced former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as “Naruto.” “Naruto” is a Japanese manga that was later turned into a hit anime with the same title. It is about Naruto Uzukami, a youngster who went on to become the sixth hokage (master). Naruto is known for his unruly yellow hair and signature headband with the Hidden Leaf Village logo.
Arroyo was wearing the same orthopedic medical brace (plus an added surgical mask) shown in the Facebook photo when she, and later her husband Mike, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal Tuesday night supposedly to fly abroad. She was in an ambulance from the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig when she was wheeled to the airport.
I don’t know how much of the image that Gloria projected that night affected the thinking of those who are now condemning Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for blocking the departure of the former president. How sick was Arroyo? Was her departure a “matter of life and death” for her?
Will she or won’t she? I mean, if former president Arroyo is finally given the green light to seek medical help in European countries that don’t have extradition treaty with the Philippines, will she return to the country after completing her medical treatment?
The answer to that question will determine who between Malacañang and the Supreme Court is correct in the current back and forth over the temporary restraining order the High Court issued against the Department of Justice’s watch list order barring Arroyo from leaving the country. If Gloria doesn’t return, Malacañang can shout, “We told you so.” If she does, it would be the Supreme Court’s turn to say, “We told you so.”
But here’s my take: the chances of the former president returning is lesser than the chances of her feigning longer treatment programs or seeking political asylum. Consider: If while in Europe, Arroyo’s cases are finally filed in the court and warrants of arrest are issued against her, would there be an incentive for her to go back to the country?
There’s an interesting Nov. 12, 2011 article in the blog of Raissa Robles, Manila correspondent of the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong). It is headlined, “Gloria Arroyo stopped a woman, with an illness and a case just like hers, from leaving the country for four years.”
Robles interviewed Nena Santos, lawyer of Yogie Martirizar, who was accused of electoral sabotage although her case is still under preliminary investigation and has not reached the court (a-la Gloria). She was placed under a “watch-list order” by the Arroyo administration and has been prevented from travelling abroad for the last four years.
Here’s what Santos, as quoted by Robles, had to say about the Arroyos’ petition to the Supreme Court challenging de Lima’s use of the watch-list order against the former president:
“I want to tell the Supreme Court that before, when my client was prejudiced (by the watch-list order), they (Arroyo and his people) did not complain. Now that they are affected they want it declared illegal and unconstitutional. Are they admitting now that even before they knew it was unconstitutional and illegal and yet they used it against my client?”
For more of the article, check Robles’s blog at raissarobles.com.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 17, 2011.