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Maling mali: SC strikes down De Lima’s order barring GMA for leaving PH

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Senator Leila De Lima shouldn’t have stopped former President and incumbent Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from leaving the country back in 2011 when the former was still justice secretary.

Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (April 17) unanimously declared as unconstitutional Department of Justice (DOJ) Circular No. 41 which the De Lima issued as then justice secretary.

SC spokesman Theodore Te explained that the DOJ circular has been found by the high tribunal as “being violative of the right to travel under Article III, section 6 of the 1987 Constitution.”

Because of this, Te said “all issuances released pursuant to said DOJ Department Circular are null and void.”

The SC ruled on the petition filed by Arroyo and her husband, former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, against the DOJ circular issued by then Justice Secretary De Lima.

The Arroyos were supposed to leave on November 2011 for Singapore where Mrs. Arroyo was supposed seek medical treatment for her hypoparathyroidism and metabolic bone disorder.

However, they were stopped by immigration officials from boarding their flight even though they secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the SC over the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) refusal to issue an allow departure order (ADO).