Friday, November 18, 2011

Arroyo's Right to Travel

The right to travel or freedom of movement can be categorized into two areas, right to travel (1) within state territory, and (2) outside state territory. One important distinction between these two categories is that foreign travel, with few exceptions, places the traveller outside the jurisdiction and reach of the state, while domestic travel maintains such jurisdiction.

When a person who is being investigated for possible commission of crime, therefore, attempts to move outside the territory of the state for whatever reasons, the constitutional right to travel must be tempered with the consideration that foreign travel will place that person outside the state's jurisdiction.

Lawyers of Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo claim that since she is presumed innocent until proven guilty, her right to travel must not be impaired. This claim can be easily thwarted by the fact and accepted doctrine that persons facing criminal cases (presumed innocent) may be prohibited from travelling abroad, yet their right to travel within the country remain unimpaired. Her lawyers then argue that Arroyo is not even facing a criminal case yet, that no probable cause has yet been determined that she has committed a crime and should be held on trial.

While the charges against Arroyo are still on preliminary investigation stage, it should not mean that she should be treated in all corners like any innocent citizen. In all other aspects of her right as a person, she may enjoy the status of an innocent citizen. But on her right to travel abroad, it directly affects state jurisdiction over her person which is required in order for investigation and criminal proceedings to be concluded soon enough. In this case, the prosecution arm of the state must be empowered to determine if she should be allowed to leave abroad, outside the state’s jurisdiction. Once the case reaches the court, then the court will now be the one to determine if it will allow Arroyo to travel.

Regarding Arroyo’s justification that she should be allowed to urgently leave the country to seek medical treatment abroad, such urgency was already debunked by government doctors and by her very own doctors who said that Arroyo is expected to fully recover within five to eight months. In other words, her health situation, while unfortunate, is not life-threatening. She is not a walking time bomb.

Truly she deserves the best medical care her money can buy, but this entitlement must also be balanced with the considerations of public interest where the integrity of our criminal justice system is at stake. After all, the law should not be interpreted as na├»ve to the general public sentiment of double standards in our criminal justice system – where the rich can easily devise means to impede criminal prosecution.

Really, the question is: Why is Arroyo such in a hurry to leave the country? If she is truly innocent, then she will have her chance to travel abroad sooner or later. But for now, there is no urgent and cogent reason for her to leave the country.

Disclaimer

The articles in this blog are the writer's own opinion, views or report of facts, AND SHOULD NOT SUBSTITUTE for official documents or issuances, or the advice of an independent and competent legal counsel. We do not warrant the accuracy and suitability of these articles for whatever purpose you may have in copying them. Thank you.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy tells you how we use personal information collected at this site. Please read this privacy policy before using the site or submitting any personal information. By using the site, you accept the practices described here.

Collection of Information
We collect personally identifiable information, like names, email addresses, etc., when voluntarily submitted by our visitors. The information you provide is used to fulfill your specific request, unless you give us permission to use it in another manner, for example, to add you to one of our mailing lists.

Cookie/Tracking Technology
Our site may use cookies and tracking technology which are useful for gathering information such as browser type and operating system, tracking the number of visitors to the site, and understanding how visitors use the Site. Personal information cannot be collected via cookies and other tracking technology, however, if you previously provided personally identifiable information, cookies may be tied to such information. Third parties such as our advertisers may also use cookies to collect information in the course of serving ads to you. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer.

Distribution of Information
We do not share your personally identifiable information to any third party for marketing purposes. However, we may share information with governmental agencies or other companies assisting us in fraud prevention or investigation. We may do so when: (1) permitted or required by law; or, (2) trying to protect against or prevent actual or potential fraud or unauthorized transactions; or, (3) investigating fraud which has already taken place.

Commitment to Data Security
Your personally identifiable information is kept secure. Only authorized staff of this site (who have agreed to keep information secure and confidential) have access to this information. All emails and newsletters from this site allow you to opt out of further mailings.

Privacy Contact Information
If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about our privacy policy you may contact us by email at barops@gmail.com.

We reserve the right to make changes to this policy. You are encouraged to review the privacy policy whenever you visit the site to make sure that you understand how any personal information you provide will be used.