Another Philippine TRO saga? (Philippines)

Just under a year ago, the Philippine Supreme Court issued a TRO preventing authorities from detaining former president Arroyo. Now, Arroyo stands accused of plunder along with 9 other defendants in a trial before the Sandiganbayan (anticorruption court). Arroyo and her co-defendants are accused of misusing funds from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

According to reports yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a TRO enjoining the court from issuing an arrest warrant for Arroyo. Allegedly, a TRO for one of Arroyo’s co-defendnats was to have covered her claims as well. 
Today, according to PhilStar, the Supreme Court backtracked and has said Arroyo’s request for a TRO must be considered separately. Regardless, the Sandiganbayan had already continued the trial assuming the TRO did not cover Arroyo.

Of course, given the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato last year, it’s hard to believe that a TRO against the Arroyo corruption trial won’t produce a backlash. However, the Aquino administration seems less confrontational – at least at this point. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda even reacted to the bizarre news by stating, “Well, we respect, again, that is a decision coming from the Supreme Court and as always we respect the jurisdiction of the SC.”

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