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Clooney fiancée to advise Arroyo

International human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin may advise former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo over her continued detention despite her deteriorating health, Malacañang said.

Alamuddin, Hollywood star George Clooney’s fiancée, represented Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a human rights claim before the European Court of Human Rights in Sweden; Cambodia against Thailand in the territorial dispute over the Temple of Preah Vihear; Abdallah Al Senussi, former Libyan intelligence chief, in the case of alleged crimes against humanity before the International Court of Justice; and Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian prime minister, in the case against the Ukraine government.

“All that we have maintained all throughout our watch is that there is no ill will toward the former President and we are simply following the processes of law,” said Secretary Sonny Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

“We respect the right of former President Arroyo to avail herself of counsel. And we also respect the rights of her lawyer to do what needs to be done with regards to her case.”

Coloma said the Palace has made sure that her rights under international law are respected.

“That is not a matter of confidence; that is a matter of duty on the part of the administration to ensure that no law is violated,” he said.

Coloma declined to comment on whether Arroyo’s health has deteriorated.

According to newspaper columnist Carmen Pedrosa, Alamuddin views the issue as “not about power politics but about human rights.”

Alamuddin’s mother, Al-Hayat foreign editor Baria Alamuddin, is a long-time friend of Pedrosa.

“Amal will bring in the interest and the push needed in the world for human rights violations with George Clooney of Hollywood by her side,” Pedrosa said.

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