Arroyo spokesperson draws flak over swipe at San Beda
“I just thought that maybe a different Constitution is taught in San Beda because they have a different interpretation of the law,” said Elena Bautista-Horn, spokesperson of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Frustrated over Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s move to stop the Arroyos from leaving the airport, Horn lashed back at De Lima and questioned the kind of law education she received.
“We can see that the executive branch really wants to defy the judiciary and this is saddening because [De Lima] is a lawyer. I am surprised and I really wish that the San Beda College of Law will talk about this because the immigration lawyer who stopped us came from San Beda,” Horn said in a radio interview with dzMM on Wednesday.
De Lima, along with the immigration lawyer who prevented the Arroyo couple from leaving, earned their law degrees from San Beda College of Law in Manila.
San Beda’s law dean
However, Fr. Ranhilo Aquino, dean of the San Beda College Graduate School of Law, himself does not agree with De Lima’s move, saying it sends a “dangerous signal.”
“The only question is who is wrong here. It is clear the only party that is wrong here is the party that refuses to obey the Supreme Court,” Aquino said in a radio interview with dzMM.
“(I)f the Supreme Court renders a judgment, you may not agree with the judgment of the Supreme Court, but it is the Supreme Court so it has to be obeyed,” he added.
Horn’s statement drew criticisms on her Facebook fan page.
“(It’s) a very moronic statement Horn,” posted a certain Jay Carrao.
“If you think Secretary De Lima and the immigration lawyer erred in their judgment, that does not give you the right to discredit a whole college,” he said.
In defense of San Beda
Apparently peeved, user Ryan Gabinete posted: “You just can’t maliciously accuse our red & white school… Our school produced certainly more lawyers and politicians with integrity than yours.”
Gabinete advises Horn to check her facts: “(C)heck Justice Regalado, Senator Saguisag, Senator Roco… and our fleet of Bedan lawyers.”
“We are not defending De Lima on this one. We are defending our school which Horn maliciously accused,” he said.
Horn clarified her statement on Thursday, saying she was only referring to De Lima and the immigration lawyer—not the whole college.
De Lima gave an impassioned defense of her decision to bar Arroyo from leaving the country.
She described the watch-list order as “an available weapon of the State that I use to preserve the right of the State that by the time the case (against Arroyo) is filed in court, she will be here.’’
“If there is no watch-list order there would have been a number of respondents who would have fled the country,’’ she said.
She noted the case of Ramona Bautista, one of the suspects in the killing of her brother, Ramgen, and who fled the country even before a preliminary investigation had been conducted.
At the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City where she sent off President Benigno Aquino III who left for Indonesia, De Lima said Arroyo’s electoral sabotage case was already under preliminary investigation.
To critics who said that she was ignorant of the law, De Lima said: “Please check my academic records at the San Beda College of Law.’’
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