MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has called off another attempt to leave the country today after her blood pressure went up, her spokesperson said.
Instead, Arroyo and her husband Mike will try to leave on Thursday (Nov. 17), spokesperson Elena Bautista Horn said.
In an interview with ANC, Horn said Arroyo will be taking the day off today after the experience she went through at the airport on Tuesday night.
Immigration officials did not release the Arroyos’ passports in time for their scheduled 9:30 p.m. flight for Singapore via Hong Kong, she said.
She debunked claims that airport officials did not try to hold off the Arroyos.
In the meantime, Horn hopes that the Department of Justice will finally see the light and follow the orders of the Supreme Court to allow the Arroyos to leave.
“Hopefully, from today until tomorrow, she [Justice Secretary Leila de Lima] will be enlightened,” she said.
She said de Lima should remember lessons from law school to follow the orders of the highest court of the land. “Even San Beda already said this is not the way to treat the Supreme Court,” she said.
Horn also dismissed statements from the Bureau of Immigration that they still need to ask for permission from the DOJ for the lifting of the watch list order versus the Arroyos despite the SC order.
“The DOJ is not the highest interpreter of the laws of the land,” she said.
Horn said the Tuesday standoff in NAIA already shows the Aquino government’s political agenda, with the issue having ceased to become medical or legal.
She said she has received information that de Lima and Health Secretary Enrique Ona had allegedly recommended to President Aquino to allow Arroyo to leave.
“But this did not prevail. It was the political aspect that prevailed,” she said.
Mikey Arroyo also off to US Thursday
The former President's son, Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo, will also fly to the United States Thursday.
Arroyo said he will take a Philippine Airlines flight.
"San Fo (San Francisco) and LA (Los Angeles) only. My travel permit is up to the 7th of December but I will come home as soon as I'm done with the meetings," he said.
Arroyo explained his reason for travelling. He said that aside from meeting several groups who have committed to help Ang Galing Pinoy with expenses related to healthcare, he will also join Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda and Pampanga mayors in attending several Kapampangan affairs.
On Wednesday, he posted a P300,000 bail for his permit to travel from the Court of Tax Appeals.
With this, Arroyo already has permits to travel from the 2 courts where he faces cases over alleged failure to file tax returns.
He has 3 cases before the Court of Tax Appeals and other cases at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 100.
Arroyo already posted bail and secured a permit to travel from the Quezon City RTC last week. - with reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News