De Lima, immigration men face jail term, says SC spokesperson
MANILA, Philippines–Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and immigration personnel who prevented the departure of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Tuesday night may face imprisonment, according to Supreme Court spokesperson and administrator Jose Midas Marquez.
Marquez said on Wednesday that De Lima and the Bureau of Immigration’s failure to comply with the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the high tribunal could be considered a contemptuous act.
He, however, said the court would still await for the Arroyo’s camp to file a formal complaint asking the court to cite De Lima et al. for contempt.
“I don’t want to preempt what the court might do. The justices will observe due process. The court usually issues show-cause orders to those who defied lawful orders it issued,” Marquez told the INQUIRER.
Citing Sections 3, 7 and 8 of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, he said De Lima et al. may face a fine of not more than P30,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months should they be found to have intentionally defied the court’s order.
“The court may even impose both. In the past, there had been instances wherein the Supreme Court cited lawyers in contempt for not filing their pleadings on time,” Marquez said.