MANILA, Philippines - Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo on Wednesday said officials of the Aquino administration were acting like a bunch of schoolyard bullies for rejecting former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's request to travel abroad for medical treatment.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Ferdinand Topacio, Mr. Arroyo said the Aquino administration has no platform of government "aside from exacting street vengeance for perceived wrongs while running roughshod over legal processes designed to prevent governmental excesses."
Arroyo pointed out that even President Aquino's closest allies have opposed the President's position to exercise executive power over civil and political rights as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.
"The Bill of Rights is supposed to be an island of entitlements into which governmental powers cannot intrude except for the most compelling of reasons. And the Constitution is a document for all persons for all times, irrespective of political exigencies. That is the underlying philosophy of a republican and democratic government. Unfortunately for all Filipinos, that concept appears to be far beyond the President's powers of comprehension," he said.
The former first gentleman said he is now placing their fate in the hands of the Supreme Court after he and the former President urged the Court to issue a temporary restraining order on the Department of Justice's watchlist order against them.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima earlier rejected Arroyo's request to seek medical treatment abroad, a decision that she said was supported by no less than President Benigno Aquino III.
In a press conference, de Lima said the submissions and requests forwarded to her by the camp of Arroyo “puts to suspicion” that her illness is life-threatening.