MANILA, Philippines - A minority lawmaker on Friday said the Department of Justice (DOJ) broke protocol when it served a subpoena to former President and now Pampanga 2nd District congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in connection with the investigation on alleged fraud in the 2007 mid-term elections.
House Senior Deputy Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said the subpoena should have been coursed through the House secretary-general instead of being brought straight to Arroyo's office.
The DOJ on Tuesday served more than 40 subpoenas in connection with a DOJ-Commission on Elections probe on alleged fraud in the 2004 and 2007 elections. The respondents will be directed to attend the committee's first hearing on November 3 at the DOJ.
A fact-finding team earlier recommended that the Arroyos and the others undergo preliminary investigation proceedings for electoral sabotage in connection with the 2007 mid-term polls.
The joint committee merely recommended that former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo be further investigated, noting that allegations against him are hearsay. Nonetheless, he is still included in the preliminary investigation since he was named as a respondent in a separate complaint filed by Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.
Meanwhile, Suarez said it would be "un-Christian" if the Aquino administration refuses to grant the former President's request to travel abroad for 2 months. He noted that former President Ferdinand Marcos allowed Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. to leave the country to seek medical treatment while martial law was still in effect.
He also noted that Speaker Feliciano Belmonte had already granted travel authority to Arroyo.
A DZMM report, meanwhile, said the Arroyo camp chided DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima for issuing a new watchlist order against the former President.