How Ms. Clooney ended up helping Arroyo

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2015 06:57 PM | Updated as of Mar 10 2015 03:01 AM

UN rights body gets complaint, sends it to gov't, says Arroyo lawyer

MANILA - A panel under the United Nations Human Rights Committee has received and taken action on the complaint filed by international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney regarding former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the detained Pampanga lawmaker's camp said Monday.

Lawyer Larry Gadon, one of Arroyo's lawyers, said the UN rights body's working group on arbitrary detention acknowledged recieving Arroyo's complaint.

"Nagpadala sila ng communication kay Amal Clooney, natanggap nila at na-acknowledge nila complaint," Gadon said.

"Ang advice sa amin ni Atty. Clooney, sumagot na sa kanya ang working group on arbitrary detention. Ipapadala nila sa Philippine government, bibigyan ng notice mag-apela na kung pwede payagan makapag-piyansa si dating PGMA, payagan na makapagpagamot abroad" he added.

THE PEDROSA CONNECTION

He said Philippine Star columnist Carmen Pedrosa, a family friend of the Arroyos, brought the wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney to the detained former President at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in December 2013.

"Ang pagkakaalam ko lang diyan, nung December 2013, naging bisita ni [Arroyo] si Amal Clooney na nung pangalan pa niya Amal Alamuddin. Isinama doon sa hospital suite ni Ma'am [GMA] ni Mrs. Carmen Pedrosa dahil family friend ni Carmen Pedrosa ang mga Alamuddin. Iyung mother ata, kaibigan niya."

"Napag-usapan iyung kaso, nakumbinse. Nagkaroon ng interest si Amal na i-represent si GMA sa UN Human Rights Council. "

Pedrosa also told ABS-CBN News how Arroyo and Clooney met.

"I didn't recommend anything. It's all in the newspapers. She knew about it. She's a well-read person. No, she didn't approach me. She visited me as a personal friend," she said.

CORRESPONDENCE

Gadon, meanwhile, told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview that he and Modesto Ticman worked with Clooney by supplying information she needed for her filing.

"Nung middle of last year, nagkaroon na kami ng correspondence ni Amal. Nagkaroon kami ng exchange of notes, marami siyang queries na pinadala na sinagot namin sa e-mail medyo bumagal komunikasyon dahil naging sobrang busy sila sa pagpakasal ni George Clooney," he said. "Nagkaroon kami ng masinsinang paguusap tungkol sa kaso November-December 2014 atsaka nung January madalas kami mag e-mail. Marami sila mga tanong kasama assistant niya, marami sila ipinadala dokumento sa opisina nila sa London."

Arroyo will turn 68 on April 5.

“Her health has deteriorated in detention and because of her detention, her prognosis is currently poor, and her doctors have expressly found that her continued confinement may not only slow down the healing process but also hinder full recovery. They urge that the issue of her continued detention, be attended to, in order to prevent serious impairment of her health and danger to her life. At her age of 67, the risk of irremediable harm is also increased,” Clooney said in a statement released by Arroyo's camp.

She has asked the UN body to ask for the release of Arroyo from detention as an interim relief pursuant to Rule 92 of the Committee’s Rule of Procedures to allow her to seek medical treatment abroad.

Arroyo, who underwent three surgeries in 2011 due to a cervical spine condition, has been under detention since November 2011.

She was granted bail in July 2012 on the electoral sabotage case filed against her but was re-arrested in October that same year when a plunder case was filed against her in the Sandiganbayan.

Clooney elevated Arroyo's case to the UN rights body last Febuary 26. She called Arroyo's continued detention and prosecution as
"politically motivated."

In a 42-page complaint report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, Clooney and Katherine O’Byrne, claimed that the Philippine government violated Sections 9, 14, 19, and 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on its treatment of the former President.

CASE PROFILE

According to her official website, Clooney's client list includes other controversial personalities.

Amal's case profile includes:

- Cambodia v Thailand. Request for interpretation of the Judgment of 15 June 1962 in the case concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear. Representing Cambodia in inter-state territorial claim (International Court of Justice, The Hague)

- Prosecutor v Senussi and Gaddafi. Representing Abdallah Al Senussi, former Libyan intelligence chief, in case of alleged crimes against humanity (International Criminal Court, The Hague)

- Tymoshenko v Ukraine. Representing Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister, in human rights claim (European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg).

- Sweden v Assange. Representing Julian Assange, head of Wikileaks, in extradition proceedings (City of Westminster Magistrates' Court, London)

- Prosecutor v Ayash et al. Member of the prosecuting team in case against four persons accused of assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri (Special Tribunal for Lebanon, The Hague)

- Prosecutor v Milosevic. Judicial assistant to Judge Patrick Robinson, Presiding Judge on trial of former Head of State Slobodan Milosevic (UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, The Hague)

- Merck (MSDIA) v Ecuador. Assistant to the Tribunal in UNCITRAL arbitration (Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague).