Palace: PH will remember Joker Arroyo as a freedom fighter
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Arroyo, a known freedom fighter and human rights lawyer, will be remembered by Filipinos for his contributions in toppling the dictatorial government of Ferdinand Marcos.
“The passing of Joker Arroyo closes a life and career spent in the midst of burning issues of public interest for half a century,” Lacierda said in a statement.
“As a lawyer and legislator he was outspoken. As a citizen he was one of those who fought the dictatorship and served in the effort to restore our democracy: This is the Joker the country will remember. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones in their time of grief,” he added.
Arroyo was known for being the first lawyer to question before the Supreme Court the constitutionality of the ratification of the Marcos-dictated 1973 Constitution; Amendment No. 6 which vested lawmaking powers in Marcos alongside the Batasang Pambansa; and the power of military tribunals to try civilians.
He also helped defend opposition leaders and political detainees during the Marcos regime, including Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., Eugenio Lopez Jr., Serge Osmeña III, Jose Ma. Sison, Jovito Salonga, Nene Pimentel, Eva Kalaw, Renato Tañada, and Eduardo Olaguer, among others.
Arroyo served as counsel of the late President Corazon Aquino during the 1986 snap elections.
The late senator previously criticized the Malacañang for “raping with consent” the Congress over the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program, calling the person who crafted the savings-impounding mechanism as an “evil genius.”
Arroyo also once likened the administration of President Benigno Aquino III to a student council running the government over supposedly misaligned and lopsided allotments in the 2011 budget. IDL