- Former president thanked Duterte for allowing due process to take its course
- She also said her release proves the country’s justice system works
- She hinted at possible raps against the past administration
MANILA, Philippines – Finally leaving the Veterans Memorial Medical Center where she has been detained since 2012, a smiling former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for allowing due process to take its course in her release.
“My profound appreciation to His Excellency President Rodrigo Duterte for allowing due process to take its course, the Philippine Star quoted her as saying.
Arroyo, who also thanked the Supreme Court for the decision, also hinted at possible counter-charges against the past administration for the “persecution” she underwent.
“It is my fervent hope that nobody else will suffer the persecution that had been levied on me through self-serving interpretation and implementation of the law. And that the disregard of truth for which I was made to suffer be dealt with accordingly at the soonest possible time,” she said.
Arroyo’s sentiments were echoed by some of her supporters who urged her to file a case against former President Benigno Aquino III.
“They should pay for what they did… They should be charged with plunder over the DAP, PDAF, and Mamasapano,” Arroyo supporter Ramon de Leon said.
The high tribunal, voting 11-4, decided to grant Arroyo’s demurrer to evidence after ruling that the Ombudsman’s findings against her in connection with her alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds were weak.
Praising the Supreme Court decision, Arroyo’s lawyer Estelito Mendoza said Aquino essentially turned the charges into a tool of political persecution against his predecessor.
“Her charge has been used as a political matter every time former President Benigno Aquino III explains his achievements. Her imprisonment is cited as one of its primary accomplishments,” he said.