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Interaksyon.com reports that immigration officials on Tuesday evening (November 15) prevented former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from flying out of the Philippines.
Since the Supreme Court (SC) had issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on a government watchlist action on Arroyo, she and her camp made quick arrangements to fly out of Manila. According to the report, Arroyo has a November 17 appointment with doctors in Singapore.
Arroyo, escorted by her entourage, was was wheeled into the NAIA Terminal 1. However, Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials did not allow her to get on her flight—supposedly a 9:30 p.m. Tiger Airways flight to Singapore.
BI officials said they were only following the orders of Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima, who has been tasked to "pin down Arroyo for graft and electoral fraud accusations."
Apparently, the DOJ and the Supreme Court have different interpretations on the actual effectivity of the SC order. De Lima explained: "The reported TRO has not been substantiated to exist pending the receipt by the respondents through the Office of the Solicitor General. Hence, the status quo, which is the existence of the watch list order against the Arroyos remains." She said that she will take full responsibility for her order.
Thus, Arroyo and her camp had no choice but to leave the airport. The former president was taken to St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig City. Her lawyers vowed to file contempt of court charges against BI and DOJ officials.
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