THE Supreme Court on Tuesday declared unconstitutional the Department of Justice’s “authority” to issue a watchlist or hold-departure orders.
Atty. Theodore Te, the high court’s spokesperson, said that the nullification of the DOJ circular which was used by then Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to stop former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from going out of the country, was voted upon unanimously by the magistrates.
The watchlist order was issued by De Lima amid allegations of poll fraud in the 2007 elections.
In 2011, the high court issued a restraining order against the implementation of the circular, but despite the TRO, De Lima still stopped the wheelchair-bound Arroyo from going out of the country.
In 2015, the Court of Appeals affirmed the court’s ruling, allowing Arroyo to post bail.