Lawyer to ask high court to stop Arroyo prosecution

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06:25 PM November 19th, 2011

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By: Cynthia D. Balana, November 19th, 2011 06:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said Saturday he would file a supplemental petition with a very urgent motion for the issuance of a temporary restraining order before the Supreme Court on Monday questioning the legality of Joint DoJ-Comelec Investigation Committee that filed the electoral sabotage case against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Topacio, counsel for Jose Miguel Arroyo, the former President’s husband, was interviewed at the St. Luke’s Global City after conferring with other lawyers of the Arroyo couple. He said the supplemental petition was a result of the issuance of the warrant for Mrs. Arroyo’s arrest.

Topacio said the Supreme Court had yet to resolve the constitutional question involving Department Order 001 which created the joint DoJ-Comelec Investigation Committee that looked into the electoral fraud allegedly committed by Mrs. Arroyo in 2004 and 2007.

The supplemental petition would seek to invalidate all proceedings made by the committee that led to the filing of the charges and the issuance of the warrant by the Pasay court.

Topacio also denounced the haste with which the warrant was issued.

“What happened yesterday [Friday] I would not even call it coincidental. It’s a minor miracle,” he said.

He described as uncalled for the criticism that eight Supreme Court justices who voted to uphold the constitutional right of the former President to travel were biased because they were her appointees.

In the same manner, he said, the five justices who voted against the TRO were also appointees of President Benigno Aquino III and therefore, they, too were biased.

“That’s equal protection. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,” he said.

He said the President’s health was deteriorating as a result of this new development.

“Since she is still here under guard, then I would assume that her doctors have informed the arresting team that there will be grave danger to her physiognomy if she is moved from the hospital,” he said.

He said that even the hospital arrest would have to be validated by the court, which now has custody over her.

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