Sotto: 'Let the people judge her'

November 10, 2011 10:48 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 10 — Allegations against Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo attempting to flee the country in the guise of medical travel are baseless at this point, Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III said on Thursday.

“Before the government underscores the need of delivery of justice, they should first start with observing due process. How can they accuse the person of such when they have not even filed formal charges in court?” Sotto asked.

“This makes all these talks of her leaving the country to escape trial as baseless assumptions. They’re talking of ensuring the resolution of cases when they have not even accomplished the initial stages of the judicial process in the first place,” he said.

“How can you make someone accountable for something you have not charged her with in court? Their arguments raised is a fallacy of non-sequitur, it does not follow, it lacks causal connection,” Sotto said.

The Majority Leader said that his position should not be misconstrued as a departure from the constitutional and legal processes.

“It’s obvious that she needs medical attention, why deprive her of exercising one of her basic rights, to choose her own doctor and seek the best medical treatment including options available outside of the country. Every person has a right to health and medical care corresponding to his state of health, without any discrimination,” he said.

The inclusion of this provision in the laws is aimed at maintaining individual needs and culture but also respecting a person’s dignity, the Majority Leader said.

The senator also raised the propriety of the idea of bringing in medical specialists from abroad to attend to Arroyo’s condition, saying that the government was in no obligation to spend for such an arrangement especially if it would be at the expense of taxpayers.

“She’s being made to be accountable for whatever injustices she committed during her incumbency. She’s being watched closely, her every moves, by a pair of eyes of nearly 90 million Filipinos. Should she eventually manage to escape trial, it will be the entire Filipino nation who will stand as jurors and issue a verdict on her – guilty or not guilty,” Sotto said. (PNA) RMA/jfm

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