PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK
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CHARGES VS GMA POLITICALLY MOTIVATED - HR LAWYER AMAL CLOONEY


Human Rights lawyer Amal Clooney --MANILA, Philippines - Actor George Clooney’s lawyer wife believes the government is persecuting former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  In a complaint filed before the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), international lawyer Amal Clooney and her associate Katherine O’Byrne sought compensation for the “harm” the 67-year-old Arroyo has suffered for her continued detention in the presidential suite of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on charges of plunder.  “The criminal prosecutions against Mrs. Arroyo are politically motivated and persecutory in nature,” they said.  “The presumption of innocence was violated when public officials made inappropriate comments suggesting Mrs. Arroyo guilty while she was on trial.”   Clooney and O’Byrne mentioned efforts of President Aquino to pressure the judiciary into convicting Arroyo. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: De Lima belies Clooney plea for Arroyo
['No violation of ex-President's rights'; 'Rep. Arroyo should exhaust all domestic remedies first']


DE LIMA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) insists that the continued detention of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo does not violate her human, civil, and political rights, even as the Aquino government has yet to officially receive official notice on the case lodged by international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney before the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) on behalf of Arroyo. In a 42-page complaint, Clooney, wife of Holywood A-lister George Clooney, argued that the Philippine government violated several provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on its treatment of Arroyo, who is being tried for the non-bailable offense of plunder for the alleged diversion of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds during her stint as president. Clooney said Arroyo's health has deteriorated because of her continued detention, and her full recovery hindered. She urged the UNHCHR to ask for Arroyo's release from detention to allow her to seek treatment abroad mainly for her lingering cervical spine problem. While Justice Secretary Leila de Lima pointed out that "any specific comment on the merits of the case would be highly speculative" at this point, she stressed that Arroyo's detention is a matter carefully decided by the Philippine's anti-graft court, the Sandiganbayan, after going through the regular judicial process. READ MORE...

ALSO: How Gloria Arroyo met Amal Clooney


International lawyer Amal Clooney 
MANILA - Why did international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney choose to help former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo? 
Modesto Ticman, lawyer of the former president, said he believes the international lawyer sympathized with Mrs. Arroyo after she visited the former president last December 2013. Arroyo, who is turning 68 on April 5, has a cervical spine condition and has been under detention since November 2011. "[Clooney] saw her in December 2013... Hindi naman sadya ni Attorney Amal ang pagdalaw kay dating pangulo. They were able to talk and she saw the circumstances of the former president. I can only speculate that she thought of how to help the former president," he told radio DZMM.  He said the Arroyo camp has consistently asked the courts to allow her bail, to no avail. Philippine Star columnist Carmen Pedrosa, a family friend of the Arroyos, earlier said she brought the wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney to the detained former president at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in December 2013.  Pedrosa has said she is a friend of the international rights lawyer. READ MORE...

MANILA, Philippines - Actor George Clooney’s lawyer wife believes the government is persecuting former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a complaint filed before the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), international lawyer Amal Clooney and her associate Katherine O’Byrne sought compensation for the “harm” the 67-year-old Arroyo has suffered for her continued detention in the presidential suite of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on charges of plunder.

“The criminal prosecutions against Mrs. Arroyo are politically motivated and persecutory in nature,” they said.

“The presumption of innocence was violated when public officials made inappropriate comments suggesting Mrs. Arroyo guilty while she was on trial.”

Clooney and O’Byrne mentioned efforts of President Aquino to pressure the judiciary into convicting Arroyo.



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MANILA, Philippines - Actor George Clooney’s lawyer wife believes the government is persecuting former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a complaint filed before the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), international lawyer Amal Clooney and her associate Katherine O’Byrne sought compensation for the “harm” the 67-year-old Arroyo has suffered for her continued detention in the presidential suite of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on charges of plunder.

“The criminal prosecutions against Mrs. Arroyo are politically motivated and persecutory in nature,” they said.

“The presumption of innocence was violated when public officials made inappropriate comments suggesting Mrs. Arroyo guilty while she was on trial.”

Clooney and O’Byrne mentioned efforts of President Aquino to pressure the judiciary into convicting Arroyo.



Read more: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/03/10/1431958/charges-vs-gma-politically-motivated-clooney#ixzz3TztnoR5d
Follow us: @PhilstarNews on Twitter | philstarnews on Facebook
 
MANILA, Philippines - Actor George Clooney’s lawyer wife believes the government is persecuting former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a complaint filed before the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), international lawyer Amal Clooney and her associate Katherine O’Byrne sought compensation for the “harm” the 67-year-old Arroyo has suffered for her continued detention in the presidential suite of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on charges of plunder.

“The criminal prosecutions against Mrs. Arroyo are politically motivated and persecutory in nature,” they said.

“The presumption of innocence was violated when public officials made inappropriate comments suggesting Mrs. Arroyo guilty while she was on trial.”

Clooney and O’Byrne mentioned efforts of President Aquino to pressure the judiciary into convicting Arroyo.



Read more: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/03/10/1431958/charges-vs-gma-politically-motivated-clooney#ixzz3TztnoR5d
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ALSO: DEFENDING GLORIA: Lawyer's group president  calls Amal Clooney clueless on GMA case; her spouse popularity being used for selfish agenda, he said


MANILA - (UPDATED 10:27 A.M., MAR. 10) "By George! She is clueless!" This was the reaction of a lawyer's group to reports that international human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney has embarked on a legal crusade in behalf of former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. "Atty. Amal is, unfortunately, completely misinformed, and her and her spouse's popularity and glamor are being used for an unscrupulous selfish agenda," lawyer Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL), said in a statement. Ms. Clooney is a noted human rights lawyer. She is also the wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney. "Sadly, she is being fooled by forces out to rewrite history, distort reality, twist roles from perpetrator to victim, and reinvent international human rights law. The UN (United Nations) process is also being mocked and corrupted along the way," the NUPL said. CONTINUE READING ....

ALSO: De Lima counters Clooney's 'flamboyant gesture' on Arroyo case


Composite photo shows Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (left) and international human rights barrister Amal Alamuddin Clooney. PCOO | AP/Christian Lutz
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Wednesday addressed reports that former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's lawyer, Amal Alamuddin Clooney, elevated her case to the United Nations. De Lima said the government has not yet received a notice of the complaint, which she called a "flamboyant gesture," filed by the camp of Clooney, but stressed that accusations of violations of Arroyo's rights should be directed to the judiciary. "The Aquino administration is not responsible for the fact that the judiciary does not subscribe to her claim that her continued detention is a result of political persecution," De Lima said. CONTINUE READING....

ALSO TRIBUNE COMMENTARY: From Guy to Clooney


Written by Aldrin Cardona 
Clooney wants Arroyo temporarily released from her hospital detention to seek medical treatment overseas, Gloria’s PR machinery claims Clooney had Arroyo’s detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, considering her medical condition and political status, violated ICCPR Articles 9, 14, 19 and 25. Arroyo, still a representative for Pampanga, is in jail for alleged misuse of $8.8-million in lottery funds. She was also charged with election fraud. If the information released by Gloria’s camp is true, it said Clooney had charged the Philippine government of violating Gloria’s right to liberty and security; that she wasn’t given a proper trial and released within a reasonable time; that her detention is unlawful. Also, Clooney was said to have claimed that Gloria was not given a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law, among others. Many among us are not familiar with the cases handled by Clooney. Her championing of Gloria’s cause came as a surprise. But Clooney is not unfamiliar with high profile cases. She has handled clients like WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. She is being called a human rights lawyer, but she also champions the causes of the violators of rights as she champions those who have been violated. She acted as an adviser to Kofi Annan on Syria. She helped the UN commission investigate rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. READ IN FULL FROM BEGINNING...

ALSO: ABOUT Amal Clooney


PHOTO FROM COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL WEBSITE ---BIO Overview Amal Clooney is a barrister who specializes in international law and human rights. She represents clients before international courts, including the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and the European Court of Human Rights. Alongside court work, she provides advice to governments and individuals on legal issues in her areas of expertise.  Mrs. Clooney served as a senior advisor to Kofi Annan when he was the UN’s Envoy on Syria. She also served as Counsel to the UN Inquiry on the use of armed drones led by the Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights.  She is a member of the UK’s team of experts on preventing sexual violence in conflict zones. And, she was recently appointed to the UK Attorney General’s expert panel set up to advise and represent the UK government in cases involving public international law.  Prior to joining the London Bar, Mrs. Clooney worked in The Hague with various UN-sponsored justice mechanisms, including the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. She is also admitted to the New York Bar and practiced as a litigation attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York. She speaks English, French, and Arabic. READ MORE....

ALSO: Amal Clooney earns ire of Filipino lawyers, netizens over reported UN bid to free Arroyo


(Photo grabbed from http://www.khaleejtimes.com/) (Photo grabbed from http://www.khaleejtimes.com/)
“We ask Atty. Clooney to visit the Philippines and see for herself the plight of nameless poor who are victims of injustice and human rights violations.”  MANILA — Filipino lawyers and netizens criticized British lawyer Amal Alamuddin-Clooney for her reported move to elevate the detention of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the United Nations.  “After all, what could be more beautiful if not sublime than checking one’s facts thoroughly and independently, seeing the bigger picture of the gross human rights violations and unbridled corruption of one’s client, and fighting for the real victims rather than the tormentors,” Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, said in a statement. Olalia said Clooney might be “clueless” and misinformed, adding that she and her husband’s popularity and glamour “might be used for an unscrupulous selfish agenda.”  The international lawyer is incidentally married to Hollywood celebrity George Clooney. So far, only the Arroyo’s camp has confirmed Clooney’s bid to bring Arroyo’s case before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The former president is currently under hospital arrest over alleged misuse of funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. READ MORE...

ALSO: Palace belittles plea of HR lawyer; calls Amal Clooney an Arroyo hireling


Clooney ---
ARGUING that the Aquino administration has not violated any international law, a Palace official belittled the plea of human rights lawyer Amal Ramzi Clooney before a United Nations court in behalf of former President Gloria Arroyo and said Clooney was just a hireling of the former leader.   As a lawyer, she will do what she thinks will further her client’s interest. As a lawyer, she chose a venue familiar to her,” said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, himself a lawyer. “We have our penal laws in place. We have the judicial authorities who issued that order, and we have a functioning Supreme Court. So where is the violation?” Lacierda added. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., on the other hand, said the Palace has yet to receive a formal notice of the case Clooney filed last February 26 before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, a body under the UN Human Rights Commission.  “The government will respond accordingly, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Solicitor General once we shall have received the requisite notice,” Coloma said. The two officials made the remarks after Arroyo’s lawyers confirmed that Clooney, wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney, argued before the UNWGAD that the repeated denial of Arroyo’s petition for bail was a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Clooney appealed for an investigation of the criminal proceedings against Arroyo, demanded that appropriate measures be taken against those responsible for violating Arroyo’s rights, a public apology from the government and full and adequate compensation. According to Arroyo’s lawyers Modesto Ticman and Larry Gadon, the pleading could result in either the UNWGAD issuing an appeal to the Aquino administration to free the former president from detention on humanitarian considerations or the initiation of a “communications procedure.”  READ MORE..


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Charges vs GMA politically motivated – Amal-Clooney


PHOTO: Philippine STAR columnist Carmen Pedrosa hosted a dinner for Amal Clooney at her home in Alabang when the international lawyer visited the country in late 2013.

MANILA, MARCH 16, 2015 (PHILSTAR) Actor George Clooney’s lawyer wife believes the government is persecuting former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a complaint filed before the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), international lawyer Amal Clooney and her associate Katherine O’Byrne sought compensation for the “harm” the 67-year-old Arroyo has suffered for her continued detention in the presidential suite of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on charges of plunder.

“The criminal prosecutions against Mrs. Arroyo are politically motivated and persecutory in nature,” they said.

“The presumption of innocence was violated when public officials made inappropriate comments suggesting Mrs. Arroyo guilty while she was on trial.”

Clooney and O’Byrne mentioned efforts of President Aquino to pressure the judiciary into convicting Arroyo.

“Mrs. Arroyo has become the victim of President Aquino’s politically motivated campaign to have her tried and detained so that she can effectively be neutralized as a political opponent,” they said.

Filed last month, the complaint was prepared with Arroyo’s Filipino lawyers Modesto Ticman Jr. and Lorenzo Gadon.

Clooney and O’Byrne said the government has violated Sections 9, 14, 19 and 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in its treatment of Arroyo.

They asked the UNHRC to order the release of Arroyo from detention as an interim relief pursuant to Rule 92 of its Rule of Procedures to allow her to seek medical treatment abroad.

Clooney said Arroyo’s right against arbitrary detention has been violated when the Sandiganbayan repeatedly rejected her petition for bail.

“There is no reasoning by the courts showing why Mrs. Arroyo, an ailing former president of the nation with no previous convictions, could not have had no reporting requirements, sureties or limits on certain activities imposed on her instead of detention,” she said.

“Instead the court’s decisions have focused entirely on the question of evidence-strength. Mrs. Arroyo’s requests for less restrictive conditions of detention, such as house arrest, have simply been ignored or else automatically denied.”

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention provides that detention should be the last option when there is less invasive or restrictive means such as reporting requirements or bonds, Clooney said.

At Malacañang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. sees no reason to respond to Clooney’s complaint as they have yet to receive a formal notice on her demand for the government to make a public apology to Arroyo for allegedly violating her rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. – With Delon Porcalla ..


ABS-CBN

De Lima belies Clooney plea for Arroyo By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News Posted at 03/11/2015 1:26 PM | Updated as of 03/11/2015 2:40 PM

'No violation of ex-President's rights'; 'Rep. Arroyo should exhaust all domestic remedies first'


DE LIMA

MANILA (1st UPDATE) - The Department of Justice (DOJ) insists that the continued detention of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo does not violate her human, civil, and political rights, even as the Aquino government has yet to officially receive official notice on the case lodged by international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney before the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) on behalf of Arroyo.

In a 42-page complaint, Clooney, wife of Holywood A-lister George Clooney, argued that the Philippine government violated several provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on its treatment of Arroyo, who is being tried for the non-bailable offense of plunder for the alleged diversion of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds during her stint as president.

Clooney said Arroyo's health has deteriorated because of her continued detention, and her full recovery hindered. She urged the UNHCHR to ask for Arroyo's release from detention to allow her to seek treatment abroad mainly for her lingering cervical spine problem.

While Justice Secretary Leila de Lima pointed out that "any specific comment on the merits of the case would be highly speculative" at this point, she stressed that Arroyo's detention is a matter carefully decided by the Philippine's anti-graft court, the Sandiganbayan, after going through the regular judicial process.

De Lima barred Arroyo from leaving the Philippines in November 2011 for a scheduled medical check-up abroad in spite of a Supreme Court (SC) temporary restraining order (TRO) on the DOJ's travel ban.

"Under international human rights standards, a commitment or detention order issued against an accused in accordance with a state's independent judicial processes is recognized as a valid cause for restraining one's liberty. There is no question that under no circumstances is Rep. Arroyo's detention for the non-bailable crime of plunder violative of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," De Lima said, in a press statement.

De Lima stressed that Arroyo had the opportunity to plea before the Sandiganbayan to be allowed to post bail, but failed to have her motion granted "on the ground that Rep. Arroyo has failed to prove that the evidence against her is not strong."

ARROYO SHOULD EXHAUST ALL DOMESTIC REMEDIES

De Lima said it is up to the Sandiganbayan, which is under the Judiciary, to rule on Arroyo's pleadings and her case. The Executive branch has nothing to do with the case, according to De Lima, which is why Clooney "must direct her petition to the Judiciary."

"Whether or not the evidence against Rep. Arroyo in the PCSO plunder case is sufficient for the denial of her motion for bail is not for the Executive branch to determine. The Executive is not involved in either the prosecution or judicial determination of Arroyo's plunder case. The prosecutor in said case is the Ombudsman, an independent constitutional office. On the other hand, the Sandiganbayan, as part of the Judiciary, is under the Supreme Court.

"If [Clooney] is charging the government of arbitrarily depriving Rep. Arroyo of her liberty, she must direct her petiton to the Judiciary, since the Aquino administration is not responsible for the fact that the Judiciary does not subscribe to her claim that her continued detention is a result of political persecution," De Lima said.

The justice chief further stressed that the courts decide cases "not on the basis of politics but on the legal merits of each case."

Arroyo should exhaust all domestic legal remedies before her complaint before the UN may be entertained, De Lima added.

"[Clooney] should know that her client must first exhaust domestic remedies before she can file a complaint before the UNHCHR or the Human Rights Council, in accordance with the criteria for the acceptance of communications filed with the Working Group on Communications. This includes defending herself before the duly-constituted courts of the Philippines and, in the event of conviction, appealing the judgment to the Supreme Court," De Lima said.

Arroyo is not lacking in recourse for her medical condition, De Lima said, adding that Arroyo may move for the Sandiganbayan to allow her to seek medical treatment abroad, or question the denial of her motion for bail before the Supreme Court.

"Such questions of fact or law on Rep. Arroyo's predicament are neither made grander nor more dramatic merely because they are raised by a celebrity lawyer before an international forum. The flamboyant gesture only reflects the paucity of her cries of political persecution," De Lima said.


ABS-CBN

How Gloria Arroyo met Amal Clooney Posted at 03/10/2015 4:24 PM


International lawyer Amal Clooney

MANILA - Why did international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney choose to help former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo?

Modesto Ticman, lawyer of the former president, said he believes the international lawyer sympathized with Mrs. Arroyo after she visited the former president last December 2013.

Arroyo, who is turning 68 on April 5, has a cervical spine condition and has been under detention since November 2011.

"[Clooney] saw her in December 2013... Hindi naman sadya ni Attorney Amal ang pagdalaw kay dating pangulo. They were able to talk and she saw the circumstances of the former president. I can only speculate that she thought of how to help the former president," he told radio DZMM.

He said the Arroyo camp has consistently asked the courts to allow her bail, to no avail.

Philippine Star columnist Carmen Pedrosa, a family friend of the Arroyos, earlier said she brought the wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney to the detained former president at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in December 2013.

Pedrosa has said she is a friend of the international rights lawyer.

Lawyer Larry Gadon, one of Arroyo's lawyers, said he and Ticman provided Clooney with the information needed to file a complaint on Arroyo's behalf before the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Ticman said the Arroyo camp is accusing the Philippine government of violating the former president's rights by blocking her attempts to seek bail in the plunder case against her.

He said Mrs. Arroyo wants to get medical treatment abroad and to be given access to cellphones and a laptop.

The former president is also seeking a public apology and damages from the Philippine government, Ticman said.

The lawyer said the UN rights body will examine the case if the Philippine government had violated an international covenant on political and civil rights.


INTERAKSYON

DEFENDING GLORIA: Lawyers' group's Olalia says Amal Clooney clueless on GMA case; her spouse popularity being used for selfish sgenda By: Lira Fernandez, InterAksyon.com | Video report by Maricel Halili, News5 March 9, 2015 3:31 PM InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - (UPDATED 10:27 A.M., MAR. 10) "By George! She is clueless!"

This was the reaction of a lawyer's group to reports that international human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney has embarked on a legal crusade in behalf of former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"Atty. Amal is, unfortunately, completely misinformed, and her and her spouse's popularity and glamor are being used for an unscrupulous selfish agenda," lawyer Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL), said in a statement.

Ms. Clooney is a noted human rights lawyer. She is also the wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney. "Sadly, she is being fooled by forces out to rewrite history, distort reality, twist roles from perpetrator to victim, and reinvent international human rights law. The UN (United Nations) process is also being mocked and corrupted along the way," the NUPL said.

In a separate statement, Bayan Muna partylist Representative Neri Colmenares said that, while his group recognized Clooney's concern for the human rights in the Philippines, it would be best for her to also make a pitch for the situation of at least 229 cases of extrajudicial killings of activists, media and ordinary people.

Clooney filing considers other detainees, too

"Her skills and talents are needed by those who cannot afford legal services in their search for justice, like the widows of the SAF #Fallen44," Colmenares said. "We ask Atty. Clooney to visit the Philippines and see for herself the plight of the nameless poor who are victims of injustice and human rights violations."

Alumuddin-Clooney's complaint before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, however, also tries to take up the cudgels for other Filipino detainees, seeking some changes in Philippine law, such as cutting short the period of detention for persons who have been accused but are made to languish in jail indefinitely while a final court ruling pends.

The filing with the UN body asks the Philippine government to apologize to the former President; to pay damages; and to order her immediate release and grant her permission to seek medical treatment abroad for a host pf serious ailmentrs.

Over the weekend, lawyer Larry Gadon, a family friend of the Arroyos, said that Clooney had filed with the United Nations Human Rights Council a complaint for violation of human rights of the former president.

The individual complaint of Arroyo for violation of her human rights was prepared and written by Clooney with assistance of lawyer Modesto Ticman Jr. and Gadon.

Gadon said they also held a teleconference with Clooney to talk about other information relative to the plunder case she is facing in connection with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds.

The complaint was filed on February 26 to the United Nations through the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. It was filed under the "urgent action procedure."

Under the "urgent action procedure," the UN working group may send an appeal to the Philippines to free Arroyo from detention on humanitarian considerations .

Arroyo is currently detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.

In his statement, Olalia challenged Clooney to assist as well the hundreds of political detainees in the country, the nursing mothers, the tortured, disappeared and summarily killed.

"She must not be dazzled by the sounds and effects of former presidents acting very badly as if they were the stars of righteousness or, if this does not hit well, who play the bit roles of victims of a very bad stunt," Olalia said.

"Amal, be on the side of the poor and downtrodden, not the scheming rich and famous who can misdirect you into cluelessly playing the role of a person of no substance," Olalia added.

Palace says Amal just doing job as lawyer

Malacanang Palace said Clooney is just doing her job as a lawyer, and said the ball is in the Sandiganbayan's court.

It was learned that the lawyer visited Mrs. Arroyo at her detention area in year 2013.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor in the Arroyo case, while declining to go on camera, said an international court cannot dictate on the Philippine courts in a pending criminal case. He also said similarly situated detainees would be unfairly treated if only the Arroyo case were given special attention.


PHILSTAR

De Lima counters Clooney's 'flamboyant gesture' on Arroyo case By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated March 11, 2015 - 4:57pm


Composite photo shows Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (left) and international human rights barrister Amal Alamuddin Clooney. PCOO | AP/Christian Lutz

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Wednesday addressed reports that former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's lawyer, Amal Alamuddin Clooney, elevated her case to the United Nations.

De Lima said the government has not yet received a notice of the complaint, which she called a "flamboyant gesture," filed by the camp of Clooney, but stressed that accusations of violations of Arroyo's rights should be directed to the judiciary.

"The Aquino administration is not responsible for the fact that the judiciary does not subscribe to her claim that her continued detention is a result of political persecution," De Lima said.

Reports say Clooney filed a complaint before the United Nations Human Rights Council calling on the Philippine government to issue a public apology for keeping Arroyo under hospital arrest despite her medical condition.

Clooney, wife of Hollywood superstar George Clooney, also asserted that charges against Arroyo, currently Pampanga representative, are politically motivated.

In her statement, De Lima, herself a human rights lawyer by profession, countered Clooney and gave a brief on the government system, saying the judiciary remains independent of the executive and "continues to decide cases not on the basis of politics" but on legal merits.

"Ms. Alamuddin should know that her client must first exhaust domestic remedies before she can file a complaint before the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights," De Lima said.

"This includes defending herself before the duly-constituted courts of the Philippines and, in the event of conviction, appealing the judgment to the Supreme Court," she added.

De Lima also alluded to Clooney's status as a "celebrity lawyer" in being involved in the highly publicized case. Arroyo, she said, can always seek for relief to have medical treatment abroad or to question a decision before Philippine courts.

"Such simple questions of fact or law on Rep. Arroyo's predicament are neither made grander nor more dramatic merely because they are raised by a celebrity lawyer before an international forum," De Lima said. "The flamboyant gesture only reflects the paucity of her cries of political persecution."

The country's Commission on Human Rights, meanwhile, called on the public to respect the integrity of the process involving the case filed by international human rights lawyer. ..


TRIBUNE

From Guy to Clooney Written by Aldrin Cardona Wednesday, 11 March 2015


 by Aldrin Cardona

She does not need the attention anymore, but British lawyer Amal Clooney had the spotlight on her — at least for a day or two and only here at home, when she sought freedom in behalf of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo before the United Nations.

She had just recently attached Clooney to her name by marrying George, formerly the most-sought after bachelor actor who is now being described — in world show biz circle — as Amal’s trophy husband.

She does not need further glory, though, being Mrs. Clooney is glorious enough, or so said one show biz writer. But Gloria does. GMA as she wanted her known for easy familiarity, burst into national political consciousness by using a similarity of her image with local showbiz’s superstar, Nora Aunor, when she first sought a seat in the senate.

The formula was surefire and she made her way into becoming a senator and a vice president. And then, she stole the presidency from Erap Estrada and then, from Estrada’s best friend, actor Fernando Poe, while she is alleged to have plundered the nation’s wealth that is claimed shamed Ferdinand Marcos’ haul in more than 20 years.

GMA ruled for only nearly a decade. Her alleged corruption led Noynoy Aquino to Malacañang. She became an easy excuse for his incompetence, and the people were swayed to hold on to him, perhaps until his last day in Malacañang, simply because, as this rubbernecker has heard many times, there’s no alternative even to the most incompetent liar we have at the palace.

She now has Clooney as her key out of her hospital bed. She was never jailed, because in the Philippines, accused and detained leaders are treated differently than the criminals we call ‘ordinary.’ The special ones get hospital or house arrest.

Clooney wants Arroyo temporarily released from her hospital detention to seek medical treatment overseas, Gloria’s PR machinery claims Clooney had Arroyo’s detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, considering her medical condition and political status, violated ICCPR Articles 9, 14, 19 and 25. Arroyo, still a representative for Pampanga, is in jail for alleged misuse of $8.8-million in lottery funds.

She was also charged with election fraud. If the information released by Gloria’s camp is true, it said Clooney had charged the Philippine government of violating Gloria’s right to liberty and security; that she wasn’t given a proper trial and released within a reasonable time; that her detention is unlawful.

Also, Clooney was said to have claimed that Gloria was not given a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law, among others.

Many among us are not familiar with the cases handled by Clooney. Her championing of Gloria’s cause came as a surprise. But Clooney is not unfamiliar with high profile cases.

She has handled clients like WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

She is being called a human rights lawyer, but she also champions the causes of the violators of rights as she champions those who have been violated. She acted as an adviser to Kofi Annan on Syria. She helped the UN commission investigate rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip.

But she also advised the King of Bahrain on how to best duck from accusations of human rights abuses during the Arab Spring. She defended Abdullah al Senussi, Muammar Gaddafi’s intelligence chief who is being made to answer for his role in Libya’s brutal past as well as the Lockerbie bombing. And then, GMA. Freedom for GMA would allow her to reorganize her political fortunes at a time when some of her former allies who have jumped ship before she left the palace are now expected to desert Noynoy.

We all know Noynoy is being hounded by quit calls following his mishandling of the Mamasapano raid that led to the carnage of the SAF 44. Gloria had been there and she knows the turncoats would change allegiance when it becomes necessary.

They are the sleepers who can sense Noynoy’s boat is sinking as pressure is now on him to keep it afloat.

But on his final 15 months, with no pork barrel and DAP to bribe allies and politicians, Gloria has seen and smelled a comeback. She only needs to get out of her bed and jump back into the political fire.

She may also pass to the president Clooney’s business card. He may also need her soon.


FROM THE WEBSITE OF COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL

ABOUT Amal Clooney


Visiting Professor and Senior Fellow, Human Rights Institute (Spring 2015) Office: Columbia Law School New York NY 10027
Email: aclooney@law.columbia.edu
Assistant Info
Name: Claire Merrill
Email: cmerrill@law.columbia.edu 

Education •St. Hugh's College, Oxford University, B.A./LL.B. •New York University School of Law, LL.M.

Biography

Overview

Amal Clooney is a barrister who specializes in international law and human rights. She represents clients before international courts, including the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and the European Court of Human Rights. Alongside court work, she provides advice to governments and individuals on legal issues in her areas of expertise.

Mrs. Clooney served as a senior advisor to Kofi Annan when he was the UN’s Envoy on Syria. She also served as Counsel to the UN Inquiry on the use of armed drones led by the Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights.

She is a member of the UK’s team of experts on preventing sexual violence in conflict zones. And, she was recently appointed to the UK Attorney General’s expert panel set up to advise and represent the UK government in cases involving public international law.

Prior to joining the London Bar, Mrs. Clooney worked in The Hague with various UN-sponsored justice mechanisms, including the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

She is also admitted to the New York Bar and practiced as a litigation attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York. She speaks English, French, and Arabic.

Cases

Some of Mrs. Clooney’s recent cases include:
•Tymoshenko v. Ukraine: Representing Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister, in claim before the European Court of Human Rights challenging her politically-motivated prosecution in Ukraine.
•Prosecutor v. Mohamed Fahmy: Representing journalist from Al Jazeera English television network detained in Egypt following an unfair trial.
•Sweden v. Assange: Representing Julian Assange, head of Wikileaks, in extradition proceedings before the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court challenging extradition to Sweden.
•Perincek v. Switzerland: Representing the Republic of Armenia intervening as a third party in a case before the European Court of Human Rights concerning denial of the Armenian genocide. •Prosecutor v. Senussi and Gaddafi: Representing Abdallah Al Senussi, former Libyan intelligence chief, in proceedings before the International Criminal Court arguing that Senussi should be put on trial in The Hague for alleged crimes against humanity as Libya was unwilling and unable to hold a fair trial in Tripoli.
•Cambodia v. Thailand: Representing the Kingdom of Cambodia in the “Temple of Preah Vihear” territorial dispute with Thailand at the International Court of Justice.
•Parthenon Marbles Case: Advising the Greek Government on the return of cultural property—the Parthenon Marbles currently displayed at the British Museum—from the United Kingdom to Greece.
•R (oao Bancoult) v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No.2): Representing Mr. Bancoult in proceedings before the UK Supreme Court concerning the rights of Chagossians removed from the Chagos Islands in 1971.
•Arroyo v. Philippines: Representing Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, former President of the Philippines in a human rights claim before the UN in Geneva challenging her unfair detention in Manila. •Georgia v. Russia: Representing Georgia in a case against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights regarding attacks against the civilian population in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in August 2008.
•Ireland v. UK: Instructed to advise the “hooded men” on an application by the Republic of Ireland for revision of a 1978 decision by the European Court of Human Rights on torture.

Selected Publications

Books
•The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law, with H. Morrison and P. Webb (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2016).
•The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Law and Practice, co-edited with D. Tolbert and N. Jurdi (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Selected Chapters, Articles and Blogs
•“The Right to Free Expression in International Law—Can an insult ever be a crime?” (with P. Webb, forthcoming 2015).
•“The Anatomy of an Unfair Trial,” Huffington Post, 19 August 2014.
•“The UN Investigation of the Hariri Assassination,” with A. Bonini, in: Alamuddin, Jurdi and Tolbert (eds.), The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Law and Practice (OUP, 2014).
•“Will Syria go to the ICC?” The Lawyer Magazine, 10 December 2012.
•“Does Libya Have to Surrender Saif Al-slam Gaddafi to The Hague?” Mizaan: The Newsletter from Lawyers for Justice in Libya. Issue 1, April 2012.
•“Expanding Jurisdiction Over War Crimes Under Article 8 of the ICC Statute,” with P. Webb, (2010) 8(5) Journal of International Criminal Justice 1219–1243.
•“Collection of Evidence,” in: K. Khan, C. Buisman, and C. Gosnell, Principles of Evidence in International Criminal Justice (OUP, 2010).

WIKIPEDIA:

Amal Ramzi Clooney (Arabic: أمل علم الدين‎; née Alamuddin; born 3 February 1978) is a London-based Lebanese-British lawyer, activist, and author. She is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, specialising in international law, criminal law, human rights, and extradition. Her clients include Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, in his fight against extradition. She has also represented the former prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko.

Early life and family

Amal was born in Beirut, Lebanon. During the 1980s, when the Lebanese Civil War was in full scale, the Alamuddin family left Lebanon for London and settled in Gerrards Cross. She was two years old at the time.

Her father, Ramzi Alamuddin, who received his MBA at the American University of Beirut and was the owner of COMET travel agency, returned to Lebanon in 1991.He originally hails from a wealthy Lebanese Druze family from the town of Baakline, a village in the Chouf district where many Lebanese Druze live.

Her mother, Bariaa (née Miknass) Alamuddin, is a foreign editor of the Pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat and a founder of the public relations company International Communication Experts, which is part of a larger company that specializes in celebrity guest bookings, publicity photography, and event promotion.

Bariaa is a Sunni Muslim from Tripoli, Lebanon, where a significant community of Lebanese Sunni Muslims live.

Amal has three siblings—one sister, Tala, and two half-brothers, Samer and Ziad, from her father's first marriage. She is the niece of the Lebanese-French businessman Ziad Takieddine.

Education

Clooney attended Dr Challoner's High School, a girls' grammar school located in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire. She then studied at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, where she received an Exhibition scholarship and the Shrigley Award. In 2000, Clooney graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence (Oxford's equivalent to the LLB)[20] from St. Hugh's College, Oxford.

The following year, in 2001, she entered New York University School of Law to study for the Master of Laws degree, where she was a clerk for the clerkships program at the International Court of Justice.

She received the Jack J. Katz Memorial Award for excellence in entertainment law. For one semester while at NYU, she worked as a student law clerk at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the offices of Sonia Sotomayor, who is now on the Supreme Court of the United States.

In 2004, she worked at the International Court of Justice and was one of two NYU-sponsored clerks at the Court. She clerked under Judge Vladen S. Vereshchetin from Russia and Judge Nabil Elaraby from Egypt.

Career

Clooney worked at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City for three years as part of the Criminal Defense and Investigations Group, where her clients included Enron and Arthur Andersen.

She worked in the Office of the Prosecutor at the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon and at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

She has been involved in high-profile cases representing the state of Cambodia, the former Libyan intelligence chief Abdallah Al Senussi, Yulia Tymoshenko and Julian Assange, and is an adviser to the King of Bahrain in connection with the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry headed by Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni.

Clooney returned to the UK in 2010, where she is a barrister in London (Bar of England & Wales, Inner Temple) at Doughty Street Chambers.

In 2013 Clooney was appointed to a number of United Nations commission, including as adviser to Special Envoy Kofi Annan on Syria and as Counsel to the 2013 Drone Inquiry by UN human rights rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC into the use of drones in counter-terrorism operations.

In May 2014, Clooney met with the British Foreign Secretary William Hague and a group of leading female campaigners "to discuss how to drive forward international action to protect children in conflict zones from rape and sexual violence" before the June 2014 Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, held in London as part of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, which was launched by Hague in 2012, aiming to strengthen international efforts to respond to sexual violence in conflict zones.

Clooney is a member of the multidisciplinary Team of Experts established on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

In August 2014, Clooney was selected for the UN's three-member commission to look into possible violations of the rules of war in the Gaza Strip during the Israel–Gaza conflict.

Clooney declined the position, stating that "There are various reports published today stating that I have been appointed as one of three members of the UN Commission of Inquiry for Gaza. I am horrified by the situation in the occupied Gaza Strip, particularly the civilian casualties that have been caused, and strongly believe that there should be an independent investigation and accountability for crimes that have been committed.... I was contacted by the UN about this for the first time this morning. I am honoured to have received the offer, but given existing commitments — including eight ongoing cases — unfortunately could not accept this role. I wish my colleagues who will serve on the commission courage and strength in their endeavors."

In October 2014, Clooney became involved in the repatriation of ancient Greek sculptures called the Elgin Marbles for the Greek government.

The sculptures have been part of the collection of the British Museum since 1816. Alamuddin has lectured students on international criminal law at SOAS (University of London), The New School in New York City, The Hague Academy of International Law, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In January 2015, Clooney began work on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, accusing "Turkey of double standards on freedom of expression for defending a Turkish Leftist who described the Armenian genocide an 'international lie.'"

Clooney is representing Armenia on behalf of Doughty Street Chambers along with Geoffrey Robertson QC.

She said Turkey's stance was hypocritical "because of its disgraceful record on freedom of expression”, including prosecutions of Turkish-Armenians who campaign for the 1915 massacres to be called a genocide.

Clooney took on "the case against Doğu Perinçek, chairman of the Turkish Workers' Party and an MP, who was found guilty of genocide denial and racial discrimination in Switzerland in 2007, but in Perinçek v. Switzerland had his conviction overturned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after being defended by Turkey's government."

A bon mot of hers prior to the 28 January 2015 hearing, in response to a journalist pestering her over what designer gown she would be wearing, gained wide circulation and prompted a "minor internet frenzy" on social media: she had replied "Ede & Ravenscroft".

As of the spring 2015 academic semester, Clooney will be a visiting faculty member and a senior fellow with Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute.She will be lecturing in professor Sarah H. Cleveland's Human Rights course and speaking about human rights litigation to students in the school's Human Rights Clinic.

Personal life

Amal is fluent in Arabic, English and French. Her father is Druze.Her mother is a Sunni Muslim.

Some reports have described Amal Clooney as a Muslim. She became engaged to actor George Clooney on 28 April 2014.

In July 2014, Clooney publicly criticized the British tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail after it claimed his fiancée's mother opposes their marriage on religious grounds.

When the tabloid apologized for its false story, Clooney refused to accept the apology. He called the paper "the worst kind of tabloid. One that makes up its facts to the detriment of its readers."

On 7 August 2014, the couple obtained marriage licenses at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea of the United Kingdom.

They married on 27 September 2014 in Venice's city hall (at Ca' Farsetti) in Venice, Italy, following a star-studded wedding ceremony two days earlier, also[ in Venice.

They were married by Clooney's friend Walter Veltroni, a former mayor of Rome.

The wedding was widely reported in the media.In October 2014, it was announced that the couple had bought the Mill House on an island in the River Thames at Sonning Eye in England at a cost of around £10 million.


BULATLAT.COM

Amal Clooney earns ire of Filipino lawyers, netizens over reported UN bid to free Arroyo March 10, 2015 By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO Bulatlat.com


(Photo grabbed from http://www.khaleejtimes.com/) (Photo grabbed from http://www.khaleejtimes.com/)

“We ask Atty. Clooney to visit the Philippines and see for herself the plight of nameless poor who are victims of injustice and human rights violations.”

MANILA — Filipino lawyers and netizens criticized British lawyer Amal Alamuddin-Clooney for her reported move to elevate the detention of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the United Nations.

“After all, what could be more beautiful if not sublime than checking one’s facts thoroughly and independently, seeing the bigger picture of the gross human rights violations and unbridled corruption of one’s client, and fighting for the real victims rather than the tormentors,” Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, said in a statement.

Olalia said Clooney might be “clueless” and misinformed, adding that she and her husband’s popularity and glamour “might be used for an unscrupulous selfish agenda.”

The international lawyer is incidentally married to Hollywood celebrity George Clooney.

So far, only the Arroyo’s camp has confirmed Clooney’s bid to bring Arroyo’s case before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The former president is currently under hospital arrest over alleged misuse of funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

In 2008, the UN Human Rights Committee held the Arroyo government and now retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan guilty for the killing of activists Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy back in 2004.

The said committee, Olalia said, found the Arroyo government to have violated “the right to life of every person, the right to liberty and security of persons and the rights to effective remedies under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

“Amal, be on the side of the poor and downtrodden, not the scheming rich and famous who can misdirect you into cluelessly playing the role of a person of no substance,” Olalia said.

In a statement, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said that while they are glad that Clooney is concerned with rights violations in the Philippines, “it is best that she also raise the issue of human rights violations of the poor and powerless,” citing cases extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, illegal detention and arrest among the ranks of activists.

“We ask Atty. Clooney to visit the Philippines and see for herself the plight of nameless poor who are victims of injustice and human rights violations,” said Colmenares, who is also the chairperson of NUPL.

Karapatan had documented almost 2,000 victims of extrajudicial killings and 200 victims of enforced disappearances during the nine years of Arroyo’s presidency.

Netizens, for their part, criticized Clooney and asked her to represent the marginalized instead. They also stressed that the former president is no victim but a violator of human rights.

Some questioned if the international lawyer even knows the widely-reported abuses by Arroyo as president of nine years. Others, on the other hand, has expressed disbelief.


MANILA STANDARD

Palace calls Clooney an Arroyo hireling By Joyce Pangco Panares | Mar. 10, 2015 at 12:01am


Clooney

ARGUING that the Aquino administration has not violated any international law, a Palace official belittled the plea of human rights lawyer Amal Ramzi Clooney before a United Nations court in behalf of former President Gloria Arroyo and said Clooney was just a hireling of the former leader.

As a lawyer, she will do what she thinks will further her client’s interest. As a lawyer, she chose a venue familiar to her,” said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, himself a lawyer.

“We have our penal laws in place. We have the judicial authorities who issued that order, and we have a functioning Supreme Court. So where is the violation?” Lacierda added.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., on the other hand, said the Palace has yet to receive a formal notice of the case Clooney filed last February 26 before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, a body under the UN Human Rights Commission.

“The government will respond accordingly, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Solicitor General once we shall have received the requisite notice,” Coloma said.

The two officials made the remarks after Arroyo’s lawyers confirmed that Clooney, wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney, argued before the UNWGAD that the repeated denial of Arroyo’s petition for bail was a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Clooney appealed for an investigation of the criminal proceedings against Arroyo, demanded that appropriate measures be taken against those responsible for violating Arroyo’s rights, a public apology from the government and full and adequate compensation.

According to Arroyo’s lawyers Modesto Ticman and Larry Gadon, the pleading could result in either the UNWGAD issuing an appeal to the Aquino administration to free the former president from detention on humanitarian considerations or the initiation of a “communications procedure.”

The communications procedure will result in complainant’s or counsel’s ability to provide comment on any government response received in this case as well as the rendering of an opinion by the UNWGAD on the arbitrary nature of the detention.

Gadon said they have been cooperating with Clooney since 2013, when the British lawyer visited Arroyo at the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center where she is detained pending the conclusion of her trial for plunder.

Gadon said Clooney is convinced the former president is a victim of political persecution after studying her case.

Gadon said Clooney, an alumni of Oxford University, has sufficient experience in international law, criminal law and human rights and has a notable list of clients, notably WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, former Ukraine prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, accounting firm Arthur Andersen and the Enron oil company.

She has also advised the King of Bahrain, former UN secretary Kofi Annan and the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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