Press Release
November 16, 2011

Cayetano: 'Sampal sa mukha ng bawat Pilipino kung makatakas
ang mga Arroyo sa hustisya'

Senate minority leader Alan Peter S. Cayetano said that while the Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the government's position, he supports the present administration's efforts to continue holding former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her family here for as long as possible to make them accountable for the alleged anomalies committed during her term.

He pointed out that while the Supreme Court already temporarily allowed the Arroyos to travel abroad, it is still the duty of the government to ensure that the cases of plunder and electoral sabotage filed against the former president are pursued without the risk of having an accused escape the country's jurisdiction.

"Sampal sa mga Pilipino na makatakas ang mga Arroyo at hindi nila harapin ang hustisya. Lahat ng tao dapat harapin ang hustisya. Bakit pagdating sa kanila, maging impeachment, maging kaso, hindi sila handang humarap?" he said.

He also urged the Arroyos not to immediately leave the country until the Supreme Court makes its final decision on the watch list order (WLO) imposed on them by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

"If they (Arroyos) want to clear their name and prove that they did not lie, cheat, and steal, then I suggest that the Arroyos should not place doubt on their motives of leaving the country and just wait for the final decision of the Supreme Court," he said.

He also believed that aside from an individual's civil right to travel, the country's need to seek justice should also be considered.

"I agree with the civil rights leaders and lawyers that you cannot impede and person's right to travel. But I will also tell them that if the government allows her to leave and she decides not return, it will be a bigger problem," he said.

According to Cayetano, if the Arroyos were able to leave the country last night, "the government will not have any assurance that they will come back and the Filipino people will wake up this morning blaming the government for letting the Arroyos slip away from the hands of justice yet again".

He pointed out that the conditions imposed by the Supreme Court requiring the Arroyos to issue a two-million peso bond and report to the Philippine consulate in their countries of destination are paltry exchanges for the freedom that the TRO has afforded Mrs. Arroyo.

"All throughout history, what has man been willing to give for freedom? If it is true that they stole billions from the Filipino people then what is 2 million in exchange for freedom?," said Cayetano adding that if former Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano was able to hide from the government, "what more a former president with sufficient amounts of resources at her disposal".

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