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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

ERAP SAYS ARROYO DID NO WRONG
[RELATED: Arroyo expected to attend Duterte’s SONA]


JULY 21 -Take it from Joseph Estrada. Like him, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo did no wrong.
Both were former Presidents. Estrada is now Manila mayor, Arroyo a Pampanga representative. Both were detained for plunder—he in his rest house, she in a hospital. He was pardoned, by Arroyo, after he was convicted; she was ordered freed by the Supreme Court. “I am happy that she has been freed because it has been proven that she did nothing wrong,” said Estrada, who talked to reporters during an operation to clear vendors occupying streets in Divisoria. Estrada said what happened to Arroyo had happened to him. “It was too much,” he said. “Our former President (Corazon) Aquino said sorry, the Church said sorry because of what they did to me. They did not prove anything, that I stole,” the mayor said, referring to the key players in the second Edsa revolution that overthrew his government in 2001. The mayor denied he had been impeached as President, adding that the “coup d’etat,” apparently referring to Edsa II, was “illegal.” “All the contracts I signed, they looked at them. All the lawyers looked at the contracts I signed, they weren’t able to prove anything, not even a contract,” said Estrada, who was replaced by Arroyo, his then Vice President. Asked if he believed Arroyo’s prolonged detention was a “political move,” the mayor said, “Most probably.” “That’s just how it is. Because it has been proven that she did not do anything wrong. It’s a good thing she has been released already,” Estrada said. Voting 11-4, the Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the plunder charge filed in 2012 against the 69-year-old Arroyo. The charge stemmed from the alleged misuse of P366 million of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds meant for charity. READ MORE...RELATED, Arroyo expected to attend Duterte’s SONA...

ALSO: Former President Arroyo walks free on way home
[RELATED: GMA undergoes battery of tests at St Lukes, cancels return to Lubao]


JULY 22 -Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters
Former President Gloria Arroyo was released from detention Thursday following nearly five years in a military hospital after the Supreme Court dismissed her corruption charges, her lawyer said. The 69-year-old, who suffers from a spinal illness, was accused of stealing P366 million in state lottery funds meant for charity programs while she was in office between 2001 and 2010. The Supreme Court threw out the case Tuesday, citing insufficient evidence, but her release was delayed for procedural reasons. "It's a happy day today because she has just been freed," said Laurence Arroyo, who is also a distant relative through marriage. "Finally justice has been done." 
A convoy of vehicles carrying Arroyo, her supporters and lawyers left the suburban hospital compound near Manila but she could not be seen from her car's tinted windows. Outside the gates of the hospital, supporters drenched by rain cheered Arroyo's release and carried placards reading: "We love Gloria." Arroyo returned to her home in a smart area of the capital minutes after her release. Laurence Arroyo said she may now seek medical treatment abroad for her disease. READ MORE...RELATED, GMA undergoes battery of tests at St Lukes, cancels return to Lubao...

ALSO: CJ Sereno delays Gloria’s release
[RELATED: SC: Plunder case vs Arroyo weak]


JULY 21 -As Ombudsman readies new plunder case against GMA As Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales readies a new plunder suit vs former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, it looks like she isn’t leaving her detention cell anytime soon, as the Supreme Court headed by former President Benigno Aquino’s appointee, SC Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, and her minority bloc suddenly brought out some internal rules to explain the delay, part of which requires all decisions’ releases under the internal rules, must be signed by all the magistrates, including the deliberations of the case. Another internal rule states that the original copy of all decisions and resolutions, including the separate, concurring and dissenting opinions, are submitted to the Office of the Chief Justice. Once the decision is promulgated, the Clerk of Court shall make sure that all the parties to the case will be served with the copy of the same. The SC Spokesman, Theodore Te, who usually speaks for the Chief Justice, claimed there was no deliberate delay in releasing the SC decision to free Arrroyo, pointing to the SC’s internal rules. However, there have been too many instances in the past where the decisions are not only read aloud to the media by Te, but are also immediately released after the en banc sessions, even when the concurring/dissenting opinions of the justices are missing, or carry the notation saying “to follow.” Minutes of the en banc meetings are also never released to the public as these are confidential.  Speculation was rife that Sereno and some minority justices did not want Arroyo released immediately, as yet another case of plunder is being readied by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who is also mulling a motion for reconsideration, despite the fact that 11 justices had already voted with finality to free Arroyo.
Te on Wednesday clarified that there is a process to be followed for all decisions being released by the SC but failed to explain why other decisions without that which the rules claim, are immedately released. He stressed that there was no delay in the release of the copy of the decision of the SC in the plunder case against the former president.READ MORE...RELATED,
SC: Plunder case vs Arroyo weak...

ALSO: Aquino broke silence, questions SC ruling to free Arroyo
[RELATED: Noynoy on the acquittal of GMA]


JULY 21 -Former President Benigno Aquino III questioned the decision of the Supreme Court to dismiss the plunder case against former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Benhur Arcayan Former President Benigno Aquino III broke his silence on the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to dismiss the plunder case against his predecessor, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In a statement released on Thursday, Aquino questioned the SC ruling to dismiss the case against Arroyo over her alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds. "By ordering the release and exoneration of Mrs. Arroyo, what is the Supreme Court saying: That nothing anomalous transpired? That no crime happened? That no one should be held to account? That the funds were used properly?" Aquino said. Aquino stressed that the PCSO should be the principal government agency for raising funds for health programs, medical assistance and service, and charities of national character as mandated by Republic Act 1169. He pointed out that funds from PCSO were transferred to the Office of the President for bilateral and security relation such as "bomb threat, kidnapping, destabilization and terrorism" during the term of Arroyo. Over the course of three years, a total of P365 million got transferred to the Office of the President and used for activities not sanctioned by the PCSO's charter. READ MORE...RELATED, Noynoy on the acquittal of GMA...

ALSO SC majority: Sandiganbayan gravely abused discretion in GMA case [RELATED: Arroyo won’t get back at Aquino]


JULY 21 -A supporter stands beside a placard outside a government hospital at suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines, as they await for the release of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Wednesday, July 20, 2016, a day after the Philippine Supreme Court ordered the dismissal of a plunder charge against her and ordered her immediate release from nearly five years of hospital detention. The release did not happen Wednesday due to certain "procedural" technicalities such as signatures of all justices and submission of dissenting and concurrence opinions. AP/Bullit Marquez
Majority of the Supreme Court justices ruled that anti-graft court Sandiganbayan gravely abused its discretion on the plunder case against former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Voting 11-4, the high court ruled to dismiss the plunder case filed against Arroyo over her alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence fund. The SC majority, the opinion of which was released on Thursday, agreed with Arroyo that the Sandiganbayan went outside its jurisdiction when it failed to prove the following: Conspiracy among Arroyo and former PCSO officials Benigno Aguas and Rosario Uriarte Arroyo affixed her unqualified "OK" on Uriarte's request for additional intelligence funds which was insufficient to prove that she conspired to commit plunder. This is a common, legal and valid act of signifying approval of fund release by the former president. The prosecution did not pinpoint a main plunderer but only implied a conspiracy. It was impossible for the SC majority to establish plunder by virtue of "inadequacy of the averments of the crime charged." The Sandiganbayan's findings on the existence of conspiracy to commit plunder was not sustainable. Arroyo and Aguas could only be held criminally liable for their own actions, if any. READ MORE...RELATED, Arroyo won’t get back at Aquino...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Erap says Arroyo did no wrong


Take it from Joseph Estrada. Like him, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo did no wrong.

MANILA, JULY 25, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Kristine Felisse Mangunay @inquirerdotnet 01:04 AM July 21st, 2016 - Both were former Presidents. Estrada is now Manila mayor, Arroyo a Pampanga representative.

Both were detained for plunder—he in his rest house, she in a hospital.

He was pardoned, by Arroyo, after he was convicted; she was ordered freed by the Supreme Court.

“I am happy that she has been freed because it has been proven that she did nothing wrong,” said Estrada, who talked to reporters during an operation to clear vendors occupying streets in Divisoria.

Estrada said what happened to Arroyo had happened to him.

“It was too much,” he said.

“Our former President (Corazon) Aquino said sorry, the Church said sorry because of what they did to me. They did not prove anything, that I stole,” the mayor said, referring to the key players in the second Edsa revolution that overthrew his government in 2001.

The mayor denied he had been impeached as President, adding that the “coup d’etat,” apparently referring to Edsa II, was “illegal.”

“All the contracts I signed, they looked at them. All the lawyers looked at the contracts I signed, they weren’t able to prove anything, not even a contract,” said Estrada, who was replaced by Arroyo, his then Vice President.

Asked if he believed Arroyo’s prolonged detention was a “political move,” the mayor said, “Most probably.”

“That’s just how it is. Because it has been proven that she did not do anything wrong. It’s a good thing she has been released already,” Estrada said.

Voting 11-4, the Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the plunder charge filed in 2012 against the 69-year-old Arroyo. The charge stemmed from the alleged misuse of P366 million of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds meant for charity.

READ MORE...

As of late Wednesday, Arroyo, who is suffering from degenerative problem in her cervical spine, remained under hospital arrest at Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, awaiting release papers from the courts.

Estrada, 79, who assumed the presidency in 1998, allegedly received P545-million protection money from “jueteng” operators and a P189.7-million kickback from a Belle Corp. stock transaction. He supposedly owned the P3.23-billion “Jose Velarde” bank account. He was convicted in 2007 and was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was pardoned by Arroyo.

Sen. Richard Gordon on Wednesday slammed the Ombudsman for “poor lawyering” in a case that had kept Arroyo under hospital arrest for four years.

“Sometimes you wonder whether these cases are prepared very well, because it is the high court saying it lacks evidence,” he said. “Now that she’s acquitted, where did all the years go?” said Gordon, who had served as Arroyo’s tourism secretary.

Sen. Nancy Binay, whose father, former Vice President Jejomar Binay, is himself facing trial for graft, said she respected the court ruling.

“At this point, she may now get treatment, and I hope she will be healed completely of her illness,” Binay said. Arroyo is having severe neck problems. With reports from Tarra Quismundo and Estrella Torres

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Arroyo expected to attend Duterte’s SONA by Charissa Luci July 20, 2016 (updated) Share33 Tweet2 Share0 Email3 Share64


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Veterans Memorial Medical Center after receiving the information that the Plunder case that was filed by the Aquino government against her was dismissed for insufficiency of evidence by the Supreme Court, 19 July 2016.Photo from the Facebook account of Raul Lambino

Will she opt to sit in between former presidents Estrada and Aquino?

Former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is being expected to attend the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Duterte on July 25, along with other former presidents and her colleagues in the 17th Congress, after the Supreme Court junked the plunder case against her.

READ MORE...

House Deputy Secretary General Artemio Adaza said Mrs. Arroyo may join her colleagues in the session hall or may sit in the first gallery of the session hall, in between former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Benigno S. Aquino III as the sitting arrangement is based on their terms of office.

“May option si (former) President Arroyo kung uupo siya sa gallery o uupo siya sa gitna ng session hall as Representative of Pampanga (Former President Arroyo has option if she will sit in the gallery or she will sit in the middle of the session hall as Representative of Pampanga),’ he told reporters in an ambush interview.

Adana said official invitations have been sent out to former presidents, Estrada, Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos. He said they have to yet to receive confirmation from the former presidents if they would attend or not the SONA on Monday.


ABS-CBN

Former President Arroyo walks free Agence France-Presse Posted at Jul 22 2016 01:47 AM


Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

Former President Gloria Arroyo was released from detention Thursday following nearly five years in a military hospital after the Supreme Court dismissed her corruption charges, her lawyer said.

The 69-year-old, who suffers from a spinal illness, was accused of stealing P366 million in state lottery funds meant for charity programs while she was in office between 2001 and 2010.

The Supreme Court threw out the case Tuesday, citing insufficient evidence, but her release was delayed for procedural reasons.

"It's a happy day today because she has just been freed," said Laurence Arroyo, who is also a distant relative through marriage.

"Finally justice has been done."

A convoy of vehicles carrying Arroyo, her supporters and lawyers left the suburban hospital compound near Manila but she could not be seen from her car's tinted windows.

Outside the gates of the hospital, supporters drenched by rain cheered Arroyo's release and carried placards reading: "We love Gloria."

Arroyo returned to her home in a smart area of the capital minutes after her release. Laurence Arroyo said she may now seek medical treatment abroad for her disease.

READ MORE...

In a statement issued by her lawyers Wednesday, Arroyo thanked the Supreme Court and newly-installed President Rodrigo Duterte for not standing in the way of her release.

Government Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales defended the decision to charge Arroyo for plunder, and said on Wednesday she was preparing another corruption charge against her.


SCREENGRAB - CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO (FACEBOOK)

The former leader was jailed in 2011 under the administration of arch critic, then-president Benigno Aquino.

Aquino questioned the ruling to free Arroyo on Thursday, saying she should be held accountable for the mismanagement of funds that were supposed "to alleviate the suffering of many of our countrymen".

Duterte succeeded Aquino in June, and said he was willing to pardon Arroyo.

Another of Arroyo's lawyers, Estelito Mendoza, had suggested that the Supreme Court waited until Aquino stepped down before issuing its ruling as a "courtesy" to Aquino.

Arroyo was initially arrested on charges of electoral sabotage for allegedly conspiring with election officials to rig 2007 senatorial polls.

Because of her illness, the government allowed her to be detained in a military hospital.

She was granted bail for the vote-rigging case in July 2012 after the court -- while not dismissing the charge -- ruled evidence against her was weak.

But the corruption case against Arroyo was lodged the same year, keeping her in detention.

Despite being detained, Arroyo has won a seat in the House of Representatives in the past three elections, serving as a congresswoman while being held in the hospital.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

GMA undergoes battery of tests at St Lukes, cancels return to Lubao By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 23, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Arroyo last night canceled her planned return to Lubao after suffering fatigue following a battery of tests at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. AP/File

MANILA, Philippines – After more than four years in detention, former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to visit her hometown of Lubao, but this will have to wait for now.

Arroyo last night canceled her planned return to Lubao after suffering fatigue following a battery of tests at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City.

She will instead visit Lubao after she attends President Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

Arroyo, 69, was released from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) on Thursday, two days after the Supreme Court (SC) acquitted her of plunder charges filed by the Office of the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan.

From the VMMC, she proceeded first to her house in La Vista, Quezon City. But that same night, she had herself admitted to St. Luke’s Medical Center for an executive check-up.

“Some tests were done last night and the others were done today,” former justice secretary Agnes Devanadera said in a text message.

Devanadera, a former member of the Arroyo Cabinet, said blood tests showed the lawmaker had high cholesterol “that bears watching.” The results of other tests have not yet come out.

Arroyo was expected to be discharged last night and proceed to La Vista.

A member of her staff said she would rest overnight and proceed to Lubao on Sunday.

GMA to attend Duterte’s SONA Devanadera said Arroyo would attend President Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday despite her health condition.

“She wants to start to resume working full-time as soon as possible,” a senior congressional staff member said.

Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said Arroyo would be “a major asset” in Congress, especially in the field of economics and social agenda.

Former president Fidel Ramos on Wednesday said Arroyo would also be a welcome presence in the National Security Council, which includes all living former presidents as members, once Duterte convenes the body.

‘GMA won’t get back at her tormentors’ Devanadera also said that Arroyo was not inclined to get back at her tormentors by filing cases against them.

“She is not that kind of person,” Devanadera told GMA news.

“What’s important for her is for her to be able to work as soon as possible,” she said.

Arroyo was acquitted of charges of conspiracy to plunder P366 million in funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) since her alleged co-conspirators were freed due to lack of evidence, the SC said.

She was detained at the VMMC because she had a degenerative bone disease affecting her spine.

Compensation for unlawful detention Arroyo can also ask the government for compensation for unlawful detention, according to her lawyer, former solicitor general Estelito Mendoza.

“(There is) no greater injury or suffering than for a person to be imprisoned, to be detained. Remember if one is imprisoned, time lost in prison can never be recovered… Time lost is lost forever. Logically, there should be a basis for compensation but that is up to her whether she can claim or not,” Mendoza told reporters yesterday.

Arroyo may feel it is better that history be the judge rather than cause more disturbance to a troubled country, he said. “I do not want to make judgments, it is for her to decide,” he said.

Mendoza also expressed dismay over the statement of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales that another case against Arroyo is being readied by her office for filing following Arroyo’s release.

“Very dismaying if not shocking. I think there is nothing more oppressive. The subject of the new charge is disbursement of funds that took place earlier before this (PCSO) case. Why did she not file it earlier?” Mendoza said. – With Mike Frialde, Robertzon Ramirez


TRIBUNE

CJ Sereno delays Gloria’s release Written by Tribune Wires Thursday, 21 July 2016 00:00



As Ombudsman readies new plunder case against GMA

As Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales readies a new plunder suit vs former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, it looks like she isn’t leaving her detention cell anytime soon, as the Supreme Court headed by former President Benigno Aquino’s appointee, SC Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, and her minority bloc suddenly brought out some internal rules to explain the delay, part of which requires all decisions’ releases under the internal rules, must be signed by all the magistrates, including the deliberations of the case.

Another internal rule states that the original copy of all decisions and resolutions, including the separate, concurring and dissenting opinions, are submitted to the Office of the Chief Justice.

Once the decision is promulgated, the Clerk of Court shall make sure that all the parties to the case will be served with the copy of the same.

NO DELIBERATE DELAY


TE

The SC Spokesman, Theodore Te, who usually speaks for the Chief Justice, claimed there was no deliberate delay in releasing the SC decision to free Arrroyo, pointing to the SC’s internal rules.

However, there have been too many instances in the past where the decisions are not only read aloud to the media by Te, but are also immediately released after the en banc sessions, even when the concurring/dissenting opinions of the justices are missing, or carry the notation saying “to follow.”

Minutes of the en banc meetings are also never released to the public as these are confidential.

Speculation was rife that Sereno and some minority justices did not want Arroyo released immediately, as yet another case of plunder is being readied by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who is also mulling a motion for reconsideration, despite the fact that 11 justices had already voted with finality to free Arroyo.

Te on Wednesday clarified that there is a process to be followed for all decisions being released by the SC but failed to explain why other decisions without that which the rules claim, are immedately released.

He stressed that there was no delay in the release of the copy of the decision of the SC in the plunder case against the former president.

READ MORE...

Voting 11-4, the SC on Tuesday dismissed for insufficiency of evidence the plunder case against Mrs. Arroyo involving the alleged misuse of the P366-million confidential intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Te said that there was so-called Internal Rules of the SC, particularly Rule Nos. 13 and 14.

In Section 9, Rule 13 of the Internal Rules of the SC, it states that the original copy of all decisions and resolutions, including the separate, concurring and dissenting opinions are submitted to the Office of the Chief Justice.

Once the decision is promulgated, the Clerk of Court shall make sure that all the parties to the case will be served with the copy of the same.


Philippine Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te

Te said that there was no provision in the SC internal rules which allows the Chief Justice to merely get a part such as the “dispositive portion” of the decision, which has not yet been signed and certified.

As of this writing, one of the lawyers of the former president are still waiting for the release of the official copy of the “immediately executory” ruling of the SC.

Morales to file new case of plunder vs Gloria


MORALES

Despite the SC’s dismissal of of the plunder case against Arroyo in connection with the alleged misuse of intelligence funds, she continues to remain under investigation by the Ombudsman in connection with a similar complaint involving the same agency.

In a press conference, yesterday, Morales said she will be filing a new PCSO plunder case against Arroyo.

It was in June of this year when Mrs. Arroyo’s lawyer, Laurence Arroyo, told GMA News Online that the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office (FIO) filed another plunder and malversation complaint against the former president.

Filed before the Ombudsman central office, attorney Arroyo said the new complaint stemmed from the alleged misuse of the PCSO confidential intelligence fund (CIF) worth P57 million from 2004 to 2007.

The lawyer said they received a copy of the complaint on June 3 and was given until June 28 to file a counter-affidavit.

GMA news online quoted Arroyo’s counsel as saying:“I don’t know what motivated the FIO to file this complaint. But, in the words of Eliot Ness in the movie Untouchables, ‘We will not stop fighting until the fighting is done.”

Morales also confirmed that Arroyo is currently being investigated by her office for another plunder complaint still in connection with the alleged malversation of intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office while she was president.

“This is under preliminary investigation, I can’t give you the amount but it covers years 2004 to 2007,” Morales said.

“Assuming that we can prove that there was ransacking of public fund, after the preliminary investigation and we believe probable cause lies, we will bring it to the court,” she added.

Morales also stressed that Arroyo should have not been acquitted since the prosecution has presented enough evidence to convict her for plunder, adding that she believes the prosecutors were able to prove the guilt of Mrs. Arroyo beyond reasonable doubt, insisting that her office furnished the SC 600 pieces of documentary evidence and 46 transcripts of stenographic notes on relevant Sandiganbayan hearings on the case. But it is never the quantity of the documents that esrablishes the guilt of the accused.

She is also mulling the filing of a Motion for Reconsideration before the SC.

Rule of law prevailed


PANGILINAN

The Rule of Law in the case of Arroyo prevailed, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, one of the political ally of the former Aquino adminis-tration, said.

Due process is what Arroyo went through the last five years, having been placed under hospital detention while facing trial before the Sandiganbayan over plunder charges on the account of alleged misuse of P366 million Philippine Charity Sweeptakes Office (PCSO) funds during her incumbency, he said.

“Justice is not just about the result. Like democracy, justice is more about the process,” he said in a statement.

“Her acquittal is the result of the rule of law. We may or may not like the result. That is final and we respect the decision of the Supreme Court,” Pangilinan said.

Some other senators, although many admitted having yet to read the entirety of the SC ruling, appeared amenable to the high tribunal’s decision, except for Sen. Leila de Lima who has been vocal in expressing her disgust on the acquittal of Arroyo.

“We respect the ruling of the Supreme Court, Sen. Nancy Binay said.

Neophyte Sen. Joel Villanueva shared the position of Pangilinan in allowing the High Court ruling to prevail.

“It is what it is, we have to respect the rule of law. That is how our justice system works. It would be interesting for me to read the court decision first before commenting on it,” he said.

Admittedly, Pangilinan noted, much can still be about the country’s justice system as it is still slow.

“And for ordinary Filipinos who are caught in the web of the Philippine judicial system, it can be criminally slow. That is the challenge: to hasten the process and approximate justice so that we have more respect for the rule of law and judicial system,” he said.

De Lima said it is unfortunate that the SC ruling was handed down at a time when anti-corruption efforts in the Philippines have been receiving accolades from all over the world.


DE LIMA

“While we have yet to ascertain and assess the full effect of this decision, I am one hundred percent sure that this is demoralizing or disheartening to most of us, to say the least, as it delivers a huge blow to all our initiatives.

“I am confident that the Ombudsman will study closely this decision, with the end in view of seeking a reconsideration,” she said.

As expected, the militant group Karapatan yesterday expressed disappointment over Supreme Court’s acquittal of former President Arroyo and blamed Noynoy Aquino for failing the pin down his predecessor for plunder.

Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said that the Aquino administration failed to prosecute Arroyo in the rights abuses she committed, particularly in the arrest of the so-called “Morong 43” and the Ampatuan massacre of 57 persons, most of them media practitioners.

Palabay was reacting to the SC decision acquitting Arroyo for the plunder case filed by the Aquino administration for the alleged misuse of P366 million intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

“We are reminding the Supreme Court that the Arroyo government left behind 1,206 victims of political killings and 206 victims of enforced disappearances among activists, peasants, and human rights workers,” Palabay said.

Meanwhile, remedial measures have been introduced in the Senate to “rationalize” and “depoliticize” the use of PCSO funds to make it beyond reach even by the most powerful person in the land, the agency being directly under the Office of the President, and have it earmarked for health care.

Sen. Ralph Recto has proposed the automatic remittance of the PCSO funds for purchases of medicine, improvement of hospitals in the country and attainment of universal health care.

“The idea is to transform the PCSO funds from a discretionary fund into a fund with a fixed beneficiary. If it is permanently consigned for a set of activities, then the temptation to tap it for other purpose, no matter how worthy, will be gone,” Recto said.

Under the law governing the PCSO, 55 percent of its gross income is set aside for prizes, 15 percent for operations, and 30 percent for the Charity Fund.
With Alvin Murcia, Angie M. Rosales and PNA

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

SC: Plunder case vs Arroyo weak posted July 22, 2016 at 12:01 am by Rey E. Requejo, Maricel V. Cruz and Macon Ramos-Araneta


Home again. File photo shows former president now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo being interviewed by The Standard reporter. On Thursday night, Arroyo arrived home a day after the Supreme Court dismissed the plunder case against her and set her free from four years of hospital detention.

THE Supreme Court said the Office of the Ombudsman’s evidence of plunder against former President Gloria Arroyo was weak, in a decision released Thursday.

Earlier this week, the Court voted 11-4 to grant Mrs. Arroyo’s petition to dismiss the case, which alleged the misuse of P366 million in intelligence Funds from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

In the majority ruling written by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, the Court said the mere approval by the former president for release of the funds did not prove her guilt for plunder.

The Court ordered Mrs. Arroyo immediately released from the Veterans’ Memorial Medical Center, where she has been under hospital detention for almost four years.

In ruling in favor of Arroyo, the justices said state prosecutors failed to prove their charges of conspiracy between Arroyo and her co-accused, including appellant Benigno Aguas.

“There was no proof of any amassing, or accumulating, or acquiring ill-gotten wealth of at least P50 million against petitioners Arroyo and Aguas,” the decision read.

The tribunal also blamed the Ombudsman for its failure “to prove the predicate act of raiding the public treasury because it failed to prove that petitioners Arroyo and Aguas, as public officers, had benefitted from the act.”

The Court said the Ombudsman merely proved that Arroyo had affixed her unqualified “OK” on requests for additional confidential and intelligence funds from the PCSO.

“This was insufficient to prove that petitioner Arroyo had conspired to commit plunder because the affixing of the unqualified ‘OK’ could not be considered an ‘overt act’ for purposes of plunder because this act was a common, legal and valid practice of signifying approval of a fund release by the President and there was no causal relation to the intended crime,” the Court said.

“The insistence of the prosecution is unwarranted. GMA’s approval of requests for additional [intelligence funds] did not make her part of any design to raid the public treasury as the means to amass, accumulate and acquire ill-gotten wealth,” it said.

The Court also cited as a fatal flaw the failure of the Ombudsman to identify the “main plunderer” in the case as required by law, which made it very difficult, if not impossible to establish the allegation of conspiracy.

The Court said the Sandiganbayan First Division erred when it “completely ignored” these findings in denying the demurrer to evidence filed by Arroyo and Aguas.

The Court further concluded that the anti-graft court “acted capriciously, thus gravely abusing its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”

The Ombudsman’s complaint involved allegations that P366 million of the PCSO’s intelligence fund had been misused and amassed by Arroyo and other officials from 2008 to 2010.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on Wednesday contested the Supreme Court’s finding that her evidence was weak, and said she would investigate Arroyo for the same alleged anomaly for the period 2004 to 2007.

But the Supreme Court said the Sandiganbayan completely ignored the failure of the Ombudsman to sufficiently charge conspiracy to commit plunder, and ignored the lack of evidence to establish that the accused had amassed ill-gotten wealth of at least P50 million.

“There were no witnesses presented to show that petitioners Arroyo and Aguas had amassed, accumulated or acquired ill-gotten wealth of any amount and there was also no evidence to show that the Confidential Intelligence Funds [CIF] of the PCSO had been diverted to either petitioner Arroyo or petitioner Aguas or accused Uriarte,” the Court said.

The majority also disagreed with the anti-graft court’s position that the prosecution had established the predicate of raiding the public treasury even without proof that the public officer charged had benefitted from the act, saying that holding that proof of where the money went and proof that petitioners Arroyo and Aguas benefitted were essential ingredients of the proof of the predicate act of “raiding the public treasury.”


SERENO

In her dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said the majority ignored the “stark irregularities” in the disbursement process of the CIF funds.

Sereno added that the majority decision also denied the concept of implied conspiracy as laid down in a case by the Supreme Court itself.

She also noted that the testimony of prosecution witness Aleta Tolentino had disclosed that there were several irregularities in the CIF requests and disbursements, which should have provided red flags.

“These irregularities were repeated in the course of three years. The CIF releases would not have been made possible without the approval of Arroyo. The funds could not have been disbursed without the complicity and overt acts of Aguas. Uriarte was definitely part of the scheme as the one who received the amounts. Even the ponencia admits that without Arroyo’s participation, Aguas could not release any money because there was then no budget available for the additional CIFs,” Sereno said, adding that Arroyo’s manner of approving requests for additional CIFs, seven times in the course of three years, reveals the initial, indispensable act in the conspiracy to commit plunder.

The Chief Justice also disagreed with the majority’s requirement that personal benefit needed to be proven, asserting that the same was not an element of the law nor has it been interpreted to be so by jurisprudence and that, for purposes of prosecution, material possession, as opposed to actual possession, of at least P50 million is sufficient.

Another dissenter, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said Arroyo as a highly intelligent President should know what was happening and that it was her duty to stop, not abet or participate in such schemes.

Mrs. Arroyo on Thursday said she would give priority to her medical treatment after the Sandiganbayan ordered her release from hospital arrest.

Larry Gadon, lawyer for Arroyo, who has been suffering from cervical spine problems, said the former president would want a full medical checkup and treatment after her release.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court voted 11-4 to junk the plunder case against Arroyo that stemmed from her alleged misuse of P366 million in PCSO intelligence funds.

The Sandiganbayan authorized her release two days later.

Gadon said Arroyo will stay at her residence at the La Vista Subdivision in Quezon City and may undergo immediate medical checkup.

“Then the following day, she will go to St. Luke’s for new medical examinations—its either St. Luke’s Global or here in [Quezon City],” Gadon said.

Apart from medical treatment, Gadon said Arroyo is getting ready to go back to her legislative duties and she is looking forward to attending congressional sessions, including the election of Speaker and first State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 25.

“[Mrs. Arroyo] is very concerned with her duties as a congresswoman. Even if she was detained at the VMMC, she still managed to file bills in Congress—a few of which had been passed,” Gadon said.

Gadon said he has yet to discuss with Mrs. Arroyo his recommendation that she file civil cases against the government for her illegal detention.

While he had advised to follow this route, her first priority was to seek medical attention, Gadon said.

SWS POLL: 57% OF PINOYS SAID AQUINO TREATMENT OF ARROYO "FAIR"

The latest Social Weather Stations survey showed that most Filipinos found the previous administration’s treatment of Mrs. Arroyo to be “fair.”

The non-commissioned survey, conducted via face-to-face interviews with 1,500 adults nationwide, found 57 percent of adult Filipinos saying the government’s treatment of her was fair, while some 21 percent said it was too harsh. Another 21 percent said it was being too lenient.

Also on Thursday, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said he was glad that Mrs. Arroyo has been ordered freed.

He said it was likely that her detention was politically motivated, since no evidence could be found to prove her guilt, Estrada added.

Former President Benigno Aquino III, who pushed for Mrs. Arroyo’s prosecution and detention, questioned the Supreme Court ruling.

“I have been told that the text of the decision is now available. I have asked my lawyers to study the document and advise me on the matter. This statement was prepared in response to the requests of media organizations for a comment. In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, I have several questions on my mind, a few of which I wish to share with our countrymen,” said Aquino in a statement.

He said nowhere in the PCSO charter did it state that its funds could be reallocated to security-related issues, as stated in th accomplishment report by former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte and Aguas.

AQUINO ALLIES

But an Aquino ally, Senator Francis Pangilinan, said Arroyo’s acquittal was the result of the rule of law.

“We may or may not like the result. That is final, and we respect the decision of the Supreme Court,” Pangilinan said.

Another Aquino ally, Senator Franklin Drilon, said the Ombudsman should locate and present Uriarte, whom he described as “the missing link” in the plunder case.

“Rosario Uriarte was the principal resource person in the Senate investigation. She was the key witness who said that it was former President Arroyo who personally approved the PCSO intelligence budget. But I do not know, I do not think that she was presented as a witness in the case and so there was no testimony to that effect,” Drilon said.

“I would urge the Ombudsman at this point to check whether or not Uriarte has left the country or her whereabouts,” he added. With Rio N. Araja, Sandy Araneta, John Paolo Bencito


PHILSTAR

Aquino questions SC ruling to free Arroyo By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated July 21, 2016 - 5:33pm 3 543 googleplus0 1


Former President Benigno Aquino III questioned the decision of the Supreme Court to dismiss the plunder case against former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Benhur Arcayan

MANILA, Philippines — Former President Benigno Aquino III broke his silence on the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to dismiss the plunder case against his predecessor, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a statement released on Thursday, Aquino questioned the SC ruling to dismiss the case against Arroyo over her alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds.

"By ordering the release and exoneration of Mrs. Arroyo, what is the Supreme Court saying: That nothing anomalous transpired? That no crime happened? That no one should be held to account? That the funds were used properly?" Aquino said.

Aquino stressed that the PCSO should be the principal government agency for raising funds for health programs, medical assistance and service, and charities of national character as mandated by Republic Act 1169.

He pointed out that funds from PCSO were transferred to the Office of the President for bilateral and security relation such as "bomb threat, kidnapping, destabilization and terrorism" during the term of Arroyo.

Over the course of three years, a total of P365 million got transferred to the Office of the President and used for activities not sanctioned by the PCSO's charter.

READ MORE...

"Reviewing RA 1169 and the actions approved by Mrs. Arroyo, one may wonder: Were such acts allowable under the law?" Aquino said.

Aquino added that Arroyo actually supported and encouraged poor managerial performance by allowing the PCSO fund transfers and tolerated it for three years.

"I wonder: What kind of superior espouses such practice? How does one justify mismanagement to such a degree? With Mrs. Arroyo giving acquiescence and approval, doesn't this make her also accountable?" the former president said.

Meanwhile, anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has issued a release order for Arroyo, who has been under arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center since 2012.

Majority of the SC en banc ruled that the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion on Arroyo's case by failing to prove that Arroyo amassed ill-gotten wealth of at least P50 million and promulgated the act of raiding the public treasury.

FULL TEXT: Supreme Court ruling on Gloria Arroyo's plunder case

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD (COMMENTARY)

Noynoy on the acquittal of GMA posted July 23, 2016 at 12:01 am by Rod Kapunan


by Rod Kapunan

The dismissal of the case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should never be interpreted as another case where the often highly partisan Supreme Court decided the case to please the one in charge as it blamed the prosecution for its incompetence, tardiness or both in handling the case.

The case has been in court for more than four years, and while it remained pending, the accused former President languished in jail awaiting the outcome of her fate.

It is now irrelevant for Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to say that the government has a good case because the people will no longer judge Mrs. Arroyo on the merits of the case lodged against her but on how the prosecutors handled the case.

One must bear in mind that for every minute a case is pending in court, it is the taxpayers’ money that is dissipated. All those involved in the dispensation of justice gets his pay, but hardly could one count of any productive output.

Thus, there is a saying in this country, he who seeks justice is likely to suffer an injustice.

As the accused suffers, it becomes clear that the case was politically motivated. This is why the case lost its venom.


MORALES

It is no longer for Ombudsman Morales to weigh why the P366-million PCSO funds allegedly plundered by Mrs. Arroyo was dismissed. She should ask herself why the case has been pending for so long that even if the court eventually finds Mrs. Arroyo not guilty, her long incarceration is almost equivalent to punishing her for a crime she did not commit.

Conventional legal analysts would say that one’s conviction is deserved because he violated the law.

But when the accused is acquitted, they would equally say he was vindicated by the court of law.

However, what many failed to analyze is that justice too has its own dialectical perception of cases brought to it for decision.

 For instance, when a man is charged of a specific crime and languishes in jail for reasons that he could not avail of the temporary relief of bail either for want of money or because of the gravity of crime charged against him, perception of justice gradually shifts from the prosecutors to the defense. Pivotal to the shift is that the issue no longer revolves on the evidence, but on the undue delay in the proceedings.

This is why the prosecution is required to present the case on time.

This is highlighted by that phrase that “justice delayed is justice denied.” This explains why all civilized courts impose a time frame not only against the party-litigants, but also upon themselves. Failure to observe it entitles any of the parties to invoke the rule to his advantage.

If it was the prosecutor who intentionally delayed in prosecuting the case, the accused can demand its dismissal like invoking the failure to prosecute for which he has the right to speedy, impartial and public trial. But if the delay is on the account of the accused, he cannot invoke said principle on account of estoppel by latches.

Most importantly, the courts, including the Supreme Court, are required under Section 15, Article VIII of the Constitution to resolve cases within 24 months from the date of submission, 12 months for lower collegiate court, and three months for all lower courts.

We are compelled to emphasize this because there is a clock that ticks, requiring all courts to finish cases at a given period.

The issue that used to be purely legal gradually metamorphoses to one of public indignation. Public opinion is more powerful because it works in the form of public pressure. It no longer focuses on whether the Ombudsman was able to present strong evidence consisting of more than 360 documentary exhibits, on the testimony of the witnesses which she claims are all reflected in the 43 transcript of stenographic notes, and by the records of the case from “A” to “Z” consisting of more than 40 folders and/or records of the case, but on why it took the court so long to come out with a decision, only for the prosecution to express their contemptuous disagreement.

The acquittal of the former President came barely a month after President Duterte was sworn to office.

This has spurred speculation that possibly the Aquino government purposely sought to delay the promulgation. They cleverly thought that either way the decision goes, after Noynoy steps out of office, public opinion would be magnanimous to him.

Had the high court convicted Mrs. Arroyo, Noynoy can boast he initiated the filing of the case, and if people disagree, he can pass on the blame to the Duterte government. Now that the decision came out acquitting Mrs. Arroyo, Noynoy is saying many things against the very court he once packed with political sycophants insinuating that the majority of the magistrates bowed down to pressures from the new government with his Chief Justice even hinting of a conspiracy.

To quote Noynoy’s sour grapes: “What is the recourse now of the Filipino people, when it is clear that a substantial amount of public funds did not go to the intended services, which would have alleviated the suffering of many of our countrymen?” “Nowhere”, Aquino said, “in the PCSO charter does it state that it’s charity funds could be diverted to actions related to “Bomb threat, kidnapping, destabilization and terrorism” or for “Bilateral and security relations.” He added that “the PCSO released P365 million for extra expenses in three years of which 70 percent or P244.5 million to the Office of the President.”

He said this diversion of funds meant fewer funds for its beneficiaries as seen from the PCSO mounting arrears. “One cannot help but think: If P365 million was used for its intended purpose, how many of our countrymen could have been afforded the basic and necessary service that they deserve?”

Noynoy has asked his lawyers to review what he now sees as a questionable decision.

He forgot that what he now faces is not about the diversion but outright releases of said funds without going through the process of appropriation as required by law.

To give semblance of legality to their systematic looting of taxpayers’ money, they invented their own term—the Disbursement Acceleration Program.

Scheming as they are, Noynoy and his Department of the Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad now came to conclude that since they are free to release funds without an appropriation, they were equally free not to identify the projects they want to be funded, mostly sponsored by their faithful lackeys, thus leaving a gaping hole for corruption like pocketing portions of it or diverting the whole funds.

Noynoy and his cabal did not just commit technical malversation but outright swindling, civilly termed in law as “misappropriation.”


PHILSTAR

SC majority: Sandiganbayan abused discretion in GMA case By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated July 21, 2016 - 4:44pm 5 56 googleplus0 0


A supporter stands beside a placard outside a government hospital at suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines, as they await for the release of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Wednesday, July 20, 2016, a day after the Philippine Supreme Court ordered the dismissal of a plunder charge against her and ordered her immediate release from nearly five years of hospital detention. The release did not happen Wednesday due to certain "procedural" technicalities such as signatures of all justices and submission of dissenting and concurrence opinions. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Majority of the Supreme Court justices ruled that anti-graft court Sandiganbayan gravely abused its discretion on the plunder case against former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Voting 11-4, the high court ruled to dismiss the plunder case filed against Arroyo over her alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence fund.

The SC majority, the opinion of which was released on Thursday, agreed with Arroyo that the Sandiganbayan went outside its jurisdiction when it failed to prove the following:

Conspiracy among Arroyo and former PCSO officials Benigno Aguas and Rosario Uriarte

•Arroyo affixed her unqualified "OK" on Uriarte's request for additional intelligence funds which was insufficient to prove that she conspired to commit plunder. This is a common, legal and valid act of signifying approval of fund release by the former president.

•The prosecution did not pinpoint a main plunderer but only implied a conspiracy. It was impossible for the SC majority to establish plunder by virtue of "inadequacy of the averments of the crime charged."

•The Sandiganbayan's findings on the existence of conspiracy to commit plunder was not sustainable. Arroyo and Aguas could only be held criminally liable for their own actions, if any.

READ MORE...

Amassing, accumulating or acquiring ill-gotten wealth of at least P50 million

•There were no witnesses to show that Arroyo had amassed, accumulated or acquired ill-gotten wealth of any amount.

•There was no evidence to show that intelligence funds of the PCSO had been diverted to the accused.

Raiding the public treasury

•The prosecution established the predicate act of raiding the public treasury without proof that Arroyo had benefited from it.

•The proof of the money went and proof that Arroyo benefited were essential ingredients of proving the accusation.

For these reasons, the SC majority concluded that the Sandiganbayan "acted capriciously, thus gravely abusing its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction." 

SC Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-De castro, Arturo Brion, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano Del Castillo, Francis Jardeleza, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza and Bienvenido Reyes voted to acquit Arroyo.

However, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Justices Antonio Carpio, Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Caguioa had dissenting opinions.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Arroyo won’t get back at Aquino July 23, 2016 10:39 pm by REINA TOLENTINO AND ANGELICA BALLESTEROS


HAPPY TO BE FREE Former President Gloria Arroyo beams as she prepares to leave the Veterans Memorial Medical Center where she was detained for four years. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Lawyer says camp of former president not considering retribution

THE camp of former President Gloria Arroyo does not plan to file charges against former president Benigno Aquino 3rd or other officials who worked for her indictment for plunder, the former president’s lawyer Laurence Arroyo said Saturday.

The lawyer, who is not related to the former leader, said he has not heard any word about retribution since Mrs. Arroyo was released from detention at the Veteran Memorial Medical Center Thursday.

He said the family of the former president and their supporters are thankful for her release.

“I did not hear anything like that. The mood at the Arroyo camp is one of thanksgiving,” he told reporters.

Another lawyer of Arroyo, former Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera, had said that her client will not sue Aquino and his officials who filed the plunder complaint.

“She’s not that kind of person,” Devanadera said in a television interview.

Former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza, another counsel of Mrs. Arroyo, said that he will not recommend the filing of counter-charges.

”I am just a lawyer, I do not encourage anything. Now that she has been released, she will be occupied for a while for a health check up and she will start getting adjusted to a normal life,” Mendoza said.

“Remember, normal life can catch up quickly for her after being elected as member of the House of Representatives and indeed that is one of the injustices, not only to her, but the people of the second district of Pampanga. They elected her but she was unable to attend sessions in Congress because of this charge. Maybe she will be filing a bill to change the law which requires automatic and immediate suspension. A person who is detained is not detained as a punishment because it has no conviction. Her detention is what is known as preventive detention,” he explained.

Mrs. Arroyo spent her first night out of detention at the St. Luke’s Medical Center for a thorough medical checkup.

She plans to visit her hometown, Lubao today. [JULY 24, REPORT: ARROYO TOO TIRED AFTER BATTERY OF TESTS TO VISIT LUBAO -PHNO]

Arroyo said the Aquino government filed a plunder complaint against his client because it is the only criminal offense against public officials that is non-bailable.

He maintained that allegations that Mrs. Arroyo pocketed P50 million from the intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office.

“She was accused, along with several others, of amassing P50 million but the Supreme Court said there was no evidence that the accused public officers have amassed and acquired the ill-gotten wealth,” the lawyer added.

On plans to reconcile with the Aquino camp, Arroyo said it is possible, but he stressed that this will be a decision of the two parties.

He also said that the former president is doing better since she was released.

The High Court had dismissed the plunder complaint against Mrs. Arroyo for lack of evidence.

WILL FOCUS AS LAWMAKER

The former president had said that she will focus on her work as a lawmaker now that she is no longer under detention.

She will be at the House of Representatives on Monday for the first State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte. It will be the first SONA that she will witness as a lawmaker since she was detained in 2012.

Devanadera confirmed on Saturday that Mrs. Arroyo will attend the SONA. The former Justice chief said the former leader will be spending the weekend with her family in their La Vista, Quezon City residence.

Meanwhile, presumptive Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez welcomed Arroyo’s acquittal.

“It’s a good thing that she was released so that former President Gloria Arroyo can start serving her constituents in her district at least in her last term because she already had two terms and she was not able to fully serve her district while in detention,” he told reporters.

4 Responses to Arroyo won’t get back at Aquino
To the Max says:
July 24, 2016 at 9:55 am
We should blame the auditing system for the corruption. Monies coming from the PCSO transferred to intelligence funds which everybody knows are confidential and cannot be check. That is what happen, and the biggest question is who finally gets the money ? It is obvious that president Arroyo approved billions transfer. Is she to be blame. The law says that the person must directly receive the the money. There is no proof, so Arroyo is innocent. As simple as that . No question.
Reply
field says:
July 24, 2016 at 1:39 am
File charges against Noynoy, not because of retribution, but because of his involvement with PDAF which was declared against the law by the Supreme Court.
Reply
Inocent says:
July 23, 2016 at 11:45 pm
We are quite pessimistic a reconciliation between the Cojuangco-Aquino family and the Gloria Arroyo family will not happen. Mrs. Arroyo is too educated, smart, humble matured for PNoy. PNoy has a mind of a child and cannot understand what is the true meaning of reconciliation. PNoy if so full of himself that his mind-set is he is a super human being.
Reply
Roldan Guerrero says:
July 23, 2016 at 11:13 pm
The Ex- President should file counter charges against her vindictive assailants namely Aquino, De Lima and Morales. The case will be docketed People of the Phils vs. STUPID Aquino et al meaning it is against the Filipino people the crime was vindictively done. The verdict which will surely convict the 3 acused will serve as reminders for Public Officials who abuses their offices to perform their futile intentions against innocent citizens they want to do harm to.


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