Ombudsman urges SC to reverse dismissal of Gloria Arroyo’s plunder case

  • The Ombudsman filed a motion for reconsideration urging the SC to reverse its decision acquitting Gloria Arroyo of plunder charges
  • The SC deemed that the evidence against Arroyo was weak
  • The Ombudsman said that evidence they presented was not fully taken into account by the SC

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman formally urged the Supreme Court (SC) to reverse its decision acquitting Second District of Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo 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  July 19, 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.

According to an article published by ABS-CBN News, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales filed a 32-page motion for reconsideration (MR) on Wednesday, August 3,  arguing that the anti-graft court’s denial of Arroyo’s demurrer to evidence plea is not reviewable by appeal or by [petition for certiorari] before the judgment of the case.

The Ombudsman emphasized that the SC “committed grave errors which amount to a violation or deprivation of the state’s fundamental right to due process of law.”

A portion of the MR read: “The evidence presented by the [Ombudsman] was not fully taken into account, including but not limited to the irregularities in the [CIF] disbursement process, questionable practice of co-mingling of funds and [former PCSO Budget and Accounts Manager Benigno Aguas’] reports to the Commission on Audit (COA) that bulk of the P365,997,915.00 withdrawn from the [PCSO’s] CIF were diverted to the Arroyo-headed Office of the President.”

Arroyo arrested in October 2012 and had been placed under hospital arrest at Veterans Medical Memorial Center in Quezon City because of complications after a cervical spine surgery she underwent in 2011.

She was released on July 21, two days after the SC released its ruling.