Amal Clooney clueless, say lawyers
MANILA, Philippines–A group of lawyers on Monday scored the wife of American actor George Clooney for initiating proceedings before a United Nations body protesting the continued detention of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), through its secretary general Edre Olalia, described international human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin-Clooney as “clueless” and called on her not to fall for Arroyo’s “soap opera script.”
“Attorney Amal is unfortunately completely misinformed and her spouse’s popularity and glamour are being used for an unscrupulous selfish agenda. Sadly, she is being fooled by forces out to rewrite history, distort reality, twist the roles of perpetrator to victim and reinvent international human rights law. The UN process is also being mocked and corrupted along the way,” Olalia said.
Clooney was quoted as saying the continued detention of Arroyo has violated her human rights. Arroyo’s lawyers confirmed that Clooney filed a suit on Feb. 26 in the UN Working Group of Arbitrary Detention, a body under the UN Commission on Human Rights.
Clooney hoped to persuade the UN to call on Manila to release Arroyo, who is suffering from a disease of the spine and is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.
Arroyo was ordered detained without bail by the Sandiganbayan antigraft court in connection with the alleged misuse of P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office intelligence funds when she was president.
The Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday said it was studying the move of the Lebanese-British lawyer.
“We have taken note of the report. We are studying it and we will make a statement in due time,” DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Charles Jose told reporters.
Olalia said Clooney should consider the alleged corruption and human rights violations that took place during Arroyo’s term.
“She (Clooney) must not be dazzled by the sounds and effects of former presidents acting very badly as if they were the stars of righteousness or, if this does not [come off] well, who play the bit roles of victims of a very bad stunt. After all, what could be more beautiful, if not sublime, than checking one’s facts thoroughly and independently, seeing the bigger picture of the gross human rights violations and unbridled corruption of one’s client, and fighting for the real victims rather than the tormentors?” he said.
Olalia said Clooney should instead be fighting for the victims of the Arroyo presidency.
“Attorney Amal, be on the side of the poor and downtrodden, not the scheming rich and famous who can misdirect you into cluelessly playing the role of a person of no substance,” Olalia said.–With a report from Christine O. Avendaño
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