- The SC acquitted Rep. Gloria Arroyo of plunder charges
- Former President Aquino expressed his dissatisfaction and questioned the SC’s decision
- Arroyo’s camp said the decision of the SC over her case must be respected
- Her camp said the SC thoroughly reviewed the case before handing down a decision
MANILA, Philippines – A few days after Second District of Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was released from hospital arrest at Veterans Medical Memorial Center in Quezon City, her camp urged former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to respect the decision of the Supreme Court (SC).
The SC has acquitted her of plunder charges stemming from anomalies in the P366-million Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office confidential and intelligence funds during her term as the Philippine president.
Sitting en banc on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, the SC voted 11-4 to grant Arroyo’s motion demurrer to evidence and junk the Sandiganbayan’s ruling which set the motion for Arroyo’s trial.
In granting the former president’s motion, the SC deemed that the evidence against her are weak.
However, former President Aquino expressed his dissatisfaction and questioned the Supreme Court’s decision.
Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying: “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?”
Atty. Laurence Arroyo, a member of Arroyo’s legal team, emphasized that the SC is an independent branch of government which thoroughly reviewed the facts of the former president’s case before handing down a decision.
GMA News Online quoted him as saying: “We have to respect the ruling of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is an independent branch of government and we can assume that the Supreme Court before coming out with the ruling had thoroughly reviewed the facts of the case, had thoroughly weighed the evidence, had thoroughly considered the issues before arriving at the decision granting the petition as well as the demurrer to evidence.”