Supreme Court acted with grave abuse in TRO for Gloria
BY BERTENI "TOTO" CATALUÑA CAUSING
A simple policeman can stop one person from moving on or arrest that person if the cop has PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF facts and circumstances to engender a belief in him that there is that PROBABLE CAUSE that the person has committed a crime, EVEN IF the crime was already committed.
And with these circumstances, the cop can arrest that person or restrict that person’s travel at any time after the occurrence of such facts and circumstances. This is because THE LAW DOES NOT SET A TIME PERIOD AS TO WHEN THAT PERSON CAN BE ARRESTED PROVIDED THE ARRESTING OFFICER HAS THAT PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF FACTS.
Arrest is synonymous with restriction to travel. If arrest is restriction to freedom from movement, so is restriction to travel.
In conducting a search, a policeman can do so if he has personal knowledge of facts and circumstances about the presence of things in a particular hidden place.
Remember that this is only an issue of whether there is probability that Gloria committed such crime, not an issue of whether the pieces of evidence in hand are proofs beyond reasonable doubt.
The State represented by the DOJ prosecutors has the right to act even without any court order--or even in the presence of a court order to the contrary--to act if the DOJ prosecutors genuinely believe THERE IS THAT CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER OF DAMAGE TO THE STATE.
Let us now look at the circumstances to know whether we can allow the DOJ to restrict Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from traveling out of the Philippines.
First, it is within the personal knowledge of any DOJ prosecutor, or even ordinary Filipinos, that there existed this Hello Garci tape exposing the acts of Gloria and Garcillano in rigging the votes.
Second, it is within the personal knowledge of any DOJ prosecutor and any Filipino that there was already the ongoing preliminary investigation with regard to the Hello Garci election sabotage case that is a heinous crime not allowed for bail for temporary liberty.
Third, it is within the personal knowledge of any DOJ prosecutor and any Filipino that there was that high degree of the complicity of the involvement of Gloria in rigging the votes in the 2004 presidential elections due to that tape, due to the fact that Fernando Poe Jr. was so strong as a candidate, and due to the fact that she was the one who benefited from the same election.
Now, knowing the degree of anticipation of evidence to convict her is strong, there is no dispute that if Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will leave she will never come back.
And if she will not come back, there is no issue that the State interest of punishing the criminal offenders will be crushed. Those acts of sabotage of election are certainly against the very core of the integrity and the existence of the State.
As such, with these circumstances alone there is no issue that THERE IS A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER AGAINST THE STATE IF GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO IS ALLOWED TO GO OUT OF THE COUNTRY: SHE WOULD MOST LIKELY ESCAPE PUNISHMENT.
So that the State, through the DOJ and other agencies, IS CORRECT IN RESTRICTING GLORIA WITHIN THE COUNTRY ONLY.
Does it necessarily follow that the Supreme Court is wrong in voting 8-5 to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to prevent the State from stopping Gloria from leaving the Philippines?
I BEG TO DISAGREE with the Supreme Court in issuing the TRO.
First, the Supreme Court has no authority to try or hear evidence to resolve issues of facts. Only trial courts have the authority to do so.
Second, since it has no authority to hear evidence, the Supreme Court has no facts on hand upon which the law on freedom or restriction of travel can be applied.
Third, it is the exclusive authority or sole discretion of the Executive to determine the clear and present danger to the State on the basis of available facts.
Fourth, the court's authority to overturn any Executive findings of clear and present danger comes into play only when the same findings are brought to the trial court that will have the authority to hear evidence of the State and the counter-evidence of Gloria.
CAVEAT, the Supreme Court has no authority to say so as to whether the facts being claimed are true or not. Again, it has no power to hear evidence only arguments on applications of laws.
Fifth, perhaps the only exception for the Supreme Court to be allowed to look into the facts is when there is an emergency that any of the parties involved would die if the petition is not acted upon.
And in this case, there is no evidence to show that Gloria would die on the day the TRO was issued if the same TRO were not to be issued. In fact, Gloria is alive until this article is being written.
Sixth, there are trial courts to which the Supreme Court can remand the petition of Gloria so that there will be an examination of the evidence of clear and present danger to be claimed by the DOJ.
Seventh, the Supreme Court very well knows or that it can take judicial notice that when Gloria would run out, there was a possibility that the State's interest of punishing her would be placed in irreparable damage because of the possibility that Gloria would never come back.
Eighth, the Supreme Court very well knows or can take judicial notice that the interest of Gloria to be treated abroad can wait in a little while in addition to the judicial notice that there are plenty of competent physicians at St. Luke's who can respond when necessary.
Hence, there is no urgency of now to grant the TRO while there is almost a certainty that Gloria would never come back.
Ninth, the circumstances surrounding Gloria's case as against all other citizens' are clear to be unique and compelling enough to defer first the prayer to grant her travel request.
Tenth, the justices of the present Supreme Court should take into account that majority of them were appointed by Gloria and the Chief Justice's appointment was questioned to be "midnight" appointment. So that doing any fair act in response to Gloria's petition would place them in bad light, even if it is not true that she appointed them to protect her when she would no longer be the President.
Eleventh, the Supreme Court can take judicial notice of the results of the 2010 presidential elections that showed votes demanding for prosecution of her administration, the issues being raised during the elections, and the daily newspaper, television and radio opinions. All these point to the substantial proof that at least a majority of the people want Gloria tried and this will of the people would most likely be placed in frustration if Gloria would not come back. Knowing that the voice of the people is the voice of God, the Supreme Court should have deferred.
Actually, even the tyranny of majority must be obeyed if it is the voice of the majority, no matter how harsh the will is.
So that there are more than enough reasons for the Supreme Court to be most prudent by deferring to a trial court to determine the facts to know whether there is a clear and present danger that Gloria's leaving will be the people's or the State's suffering.
As such, it is very clear the Supreme Court acted with grave abuse of discretion tantamount to excess or lack of jurisdiction, or acting whimsically, capriciously and wantonly, in issuing immediately the TRO to stop the State from preventing Gloria from leaving the country.