“A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is an order that a court issues to maintain the status quo until that court finally decides on the matter under litigation.” (Wikipedia).
It has the effect of an injunction which prevents a party from doing a certain act. In this particular case, 8 justices of the Supreme Court, who were all midnight appointees of former Philippine president Gloria Arroyo voted to issue a TRO to prevent Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima from enforcing the Watch List Order against Gloria and her husband Mike Arroyo. What makes it even more suspicious is the fact that Chief Justice Renato Corona, himself a midnight appointee, returned from overseas to conduct a speedy court session for the issuance of such TRO.
But the TRO in this case, had the effect of a final decision on GMA’s right to travel. Without even giving the parties (De Lima and Arroyo) a full ventilation of their respective sides, the Supreme Court has actually allowed Gloria and husband Mike to leave the country.
Was it a wise and informed decision rendered by the highest court of the land? My lawyer classmates Ildefonso Bagasao and Junoy Verano are still debating on the issue. It seems obvious that Corona et al did not make an informed decision because it was done hastily, in a matter of hours. If proven wrong, Atty. Bagasao said that “the action could eventually lead to a constitutional crisis of EDSA proportions,” especially if the Arroyo couple does not return to the Philippines.
After their departure, it renders moot and academic any case that might be filed by the DOJ. Gloria will put up any kind of alibi not to return to the country to escape prosecution for an offense which is non-bailable. This writer also regards as funny that one of the justices of the Supreme Court was willing to put his cojones on the chopping board in case the Arroyos do not return. It is also interesting to note that the countries listed in their itinerary do not have an extradition treaty with the Philippines.
Though a woman, Secretary De Lima has balls, something we couldn’t say of her predecessor Mercedita Gutierrez. Legally, de Lima is answerable to the SC for contempt. There obviously is an erosion of moral ascendancy in our country. Atty. Bagasao said: “Integrity and respect cannot be legislated, even by the Constitution, it has to be earned. – Dino Crescini