GMA detention violates int’l law

By , on October 8, 2015

Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Wikipedia photo)
Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Wikipedia photo)

MANILA – The United Nations (UN) panel ruled that former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s continuous detention violated international law, London-based lawyer Amal Alamuddin-Clooney told one of Arroyo’s counsels, Larry Gadon.

“Please be informed that Atty. Amal Clooney sent me an email informing me that the case she filed in behalf of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been won,” Gadon said in a Philippine Star report, adding that his client’s detention was ‘arbitrary under each and all of the three categories of arbitrariness recognized by the UN Working Group.’

The UN panel on arbitrary detention also asserted that ‘the Sandiganbayan court failed to take into account her individual circumstances when it repeatedly denied bail.’

“Mrs. Arroyo was denied bail on grounds that are not compatible with international law; she did not benefit from the presumption in favor of bail; she was denied bail exclusively on the basis of the alleged strength of evidence against her; measures alternative to pre-trial detention were not considered and there were undue delays in considering her bail position in the proceedings against her as a whole,” the UN ruling read.

The panel then recommended a ‘reconsideration of Mrs. Arroyo’s application for bail in accordance with the relevant international human rights standards.’

The Pampanga Congresswoman was detained in 2011 as she face criminal charges for electoral fraud filed against her. She was then released on bail in 2012 but was rearrested as she faced additional charges for graft and corruption allegations.