'Leave it to the Supreme Court' – Enrile

November 17, 2011 10:30 pm 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Nov. 17 – Senator Juan Ponce Enrile said on Thursday that it’s now up to the Supreme Court to decide “with finality” on the refusal of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to allow former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to seek medical treatment abroad despite a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the DOJ’s watch list order.

”I think it is better to leave that to the Supreme Court. The case is pending, so let the Supreme Court make a final resolution about the issues,” Enrile said.

The SC en banc is set to tackle the GMA’s travel issue on Friday after DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima reportedly defied the TRO and still prevented the former leader from leaving the country last Tuesday night, moments after the SC issued the TRO.

De Lima claimed that the DOJ has yet to receive the copy of the TRO when Arroyo and his husband former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo went at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for their 8 p.m. flight for Singapore.

”The Executive Department of the government objected to the immediate implementation of the TRO on the claim that they have not received actual notice of the decision of the court. That is an issue that must be resolved by the Supreme Court itself,” the veteran lawmaker said.

Enrile believed that there were “gray areas” whether the TRO was effective and immediately implementable.

”Let the Supreme Court decide it finally, all the aspects of this very troublesome incident. Let the SC decide on whether she committed a contemptuous act in defiance of an order of the Supreme Court in spite of the fact that she has not received actual notice,” Enrile said.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III agreed with the Senate president, saying “we have proper courts to handle it.”

”Various comments would not help. We have proper courts to handle it. Let’s leave it to them,” Sotto said.

On whether the DOJ defiance is an impeachable offense against President Benigno Aquino III, Enrile said it is still the SC that would determine if there is a culpable violation of the Constitution.

”I do not know whether we can impeach him, whether that is a culpable violation of the Constitution, they have to prove it. If the court said that there is culpable violation, then maybe an impeachment case will stand. Until that time, it is a debatable issue,” Enrile said.

The former President was supposed to leave last Wednesday but decided to postpone the trip after her blood pressure fluctuated, forcing her physicians to confine her back at St. Lukes hospital. (PNA) DCT/RMA/jfm

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