We, the Filipino Youth, condemn the brazen acts of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to evade culpability for her crimes. The recent temporary restraining order (TRO) granted by eight justices of the Supreme Court (SC) is a clear tailor-fit court order to favor Arroyo. The unusually speedy process to grant the TRO and even the release of the TRO to Arroyo’s lawyers beyond office hours were all indicative of the leverage granted to Arroyo.
What is even more abhorrent is the cavalier use of the words “rights” and “democracy” to justify her escape from the country and that any attempt to prevent her from doing so would constitute a violation of those two cherished words. It seems that Arroyo wishes to taunt her victims, the Filipino public, by using the very rights they deprived from others to escape accountability.
Arroyo deserves no compassion from the Filipino public. First, her situation is not dire. The statement of Department of Health Secretary Enrique Ona confirms that there are sufficient medical facilities and skilled medical experts to treat her ailment. Moreover, Dr. Leo Olarte of the Philippine Medical Association has opined that Mrs. Arroyo is on her way to recovery.
Second, she has the sufficient resources to pay for the best facilities and doctors in the country. Unlike millions of Filipinos, she has a team of doctors to attend to her medical needs and has foreign medical experts abroad to treat her common illness.
Third, and most important, the nine years of her presidency were marked by much grave abuse of rights and democracy. Now, Arroyo’s camp speaks of rights but during her presidency, human rights violations against media practitioners, political activists, and ordinary citizens were rampant.
Now, they speak of democracy when during her term, she orchestrated massive cheating during the 2004 and 2007 elections. This huge irony seems to escape them. No amount of disastrous acting or theatrics to garner sympathy can whitewash the gross acts of corruption, electoral sabotage, plunder, and impunity she and her cohorts committed.
We challenge the eight justices of the Supreme Court to resign should Arroyo not return to the country as she promised. We believe that those who aided Arroyo in her attempt to escape should not go scot-free and wash their hands.
We also call on the public to express their indignation against Arroyo’s attempt to flee the country. We must never take this sitting down. We cannot allow those who have robbed us of our rights to use the same rights to escape accountability.
No to GMA’s escape!
– Akbayan Youth
– Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP)
– Movement for the Advancement of Student Power