Mike Arroyo to pursue Supreme Court petition-A A +A
Thursday, September 1, 2011
MANILA (2nd update, 1:53 p.m.) -- Despite the removal of his name in the immigration's watchlist, Mike Arroyo will pursue his pending petition before the Supreme Court (SC) to declare as unconstitutional a circular that grants the Justice chief powers to issue watchlist orders.
Arroyo's lawyer Innocencio Ferrer said in a text message that they have not yet received an official copy of Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima's decision lifting the watchlist order against his client.
"Although we have not yet received any official copy of the lifting of the DOJ watchlist order or the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's request to withdraw the watchlist inclusion of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo, we are happy to hear said information. We intend to pursue our petition now pending in the Supreme Court to declare Department of Justice Circular #41 as unconstitutional," Ferrer said.
DOJ Circular 41 empowers the secretary of Justice to arbitrarily issue hold departure and watchlist orders against individuals.
On August 23, the SC unanimously issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the DOJ-issued watchlist order against Arroyo.
De Lima said Thursday that the lifting of the travel ban has nothing to do with the SC's issuance of a TRO.
She said the removal came after Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Teofisto Guingona III informed her that the Senate will no longer require Arroyo in its helicopter scam inquiry.
The order was issued after the former First Gentleman was linked to the alleged anomalous purchase of second-hand helicopters by the Philippine National Police in 2009. It was to make sure that he attends the Senate investigations on the anomaly.
Mr. Arroyo's wife, former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was also placed on the immigration's watchlist in connection with plunder cases filed against her.
The watchlist order against the former President has not yet been lifted. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)