Let those who are Free Live a Free Life.
November 3, 2011 3 Comments
The Filipino nation must condemn the injustice currently being undertaken by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband, Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo.
Today, the ministers of President Benigno Aquino III have rejected the request of Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband to proceed overseas for medical treatment citing numerous things which only sum up as excuses. It comes to me as a surprise that this decision to curtail the congresswoman’s constitutional right to travel and her inherent right to life was decided upon by a lawyer; someone who must be of the sternest knowledge in the constitution and a protector of the laws of the land.
Every Filipino has the right to free travel, which may only be suppressed if it compromises national security, public safety, or public health. I believe that all these three are not present in the situation. Secretary de Lima argues that her departure may cause delays or derailment of proceedings in which she is involved. However, Congresswoman Arroyo does not even have a case in court. And even if she has, we return to the basic premise of justice; “everyone is deemed innocent until proven otherwise.” Her right to life includes the right to choose a physician and place of treatment of her choice, and must not be subject to anybody’s assessment except that of herself.
If this can be done to a former President and member of Congress, then, the Filipino people living quiet lives have something to fear. In democracies, these courses of action constitute tyranny. Congresswoman Arroyo, when she was President, even allowed then-indicted Joseph Estrada to have surgery in Hong Kong. Former President Marcos allowed Noynoy’s father, then Senator Ninoy Aquino, to have heart surgery in the United States. What strong justification does this administration have to suppress someone’s right to be healthy? Even someone’s right to travel?
President Aquino should focus more on spearheading concrete measures to make this country a better place. We all know his anti-corruption message; and we applaud him for that crusade. But Mr. President, corruption is only one piece of the pie. And curtailing rights is a form of corruption.
To all Filipinos: Let those who are free live a free life.