WHAT WENT BEFORE
On Nov. 15, 2011, then President Benigno Aquino III’s administration stopped former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband, Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, from boarding a Hong Kong-bound plane and leaving the country, despite a Supreme Court order allowing her to seek medical treatment abroad.
Voting 8-5 on the same day, the high court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the administration’s move to put Arroyo on its watch list.
Asked if the decision of the Bureau of Immigration to stop the Arroyos from leaving despite a high court order giving them the green light amounted to a contemptuous act, then Supreme Court spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez said: “Yes, it is, but we still have to look at the facts.”
Marquez warned then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and other government officials on Nov. 14, 2011, that they “might be held for contempt” if they insisted on preventing the Arroyos from leaving in defiance of the court’s restraining order.
“As we have seen in the past, once the TRO is released, it takes effect immediately. Wehave to understand that TROs are just a provisional remedy for the time being,” Marquez told the Inquirer.
In a news conference on Nov. 15, 2011, De Lima said: “In the event the Arroyos appear at the airport and other ports of exit between now and up to the resolution of our motion for reconsideration, [authorities] need to bar them from leaving. The TRO is being stayed or deferred until the resolution of [our] motion for reconsideration.”
STOPPED AT AIRPORT Former President Gloria MacapagalArroyo is prevented from leaving the Philippines on Nov. 15, 2011.