Aquino gripes about SC ruling

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FORMER President Benigno Aquino 3rd grumbled at the release of his political nemesis and predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday, releasing a four-page statement wondering why no one was held to account for the alleged misuse of state lottery funds.

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“I have several questions on my mind,” Aquino said as he explained that he had to speak up because of media requests for comment.

He referred to Arroyo, now a representative of Pampanga, as “congresswoman” instead of “former President.”

“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 asked.

He pointed out that Arroyo used Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds for national security and other purposes not allowed by the agency’s charter. ‎

“Nowhere does it state that the funds of the agency charged to manage sweepstakes and provide charity can be reallocated for actions related to ‘Bomb threat, kidnapping, destabilization and terrorism’ or for ‘Bilateral and security relation,’” he said.

Aquino recalled that the PCSO, at the start of his term in 2010, was in debt and needed P71.39 million to cover 1,920 hospital cases, and many hospitals had stopped accepting PCSO promissory notes and guarantee letters that poor patients had relied upon to finance their medical bills.

He also accused Arroyo of supporting, tolerating, and encouraging “poor managerial performance” by allowing supposedly questionable fund requests made by PCSO General Manager Rosario Uriarte.

Arroyo was arrested in 2011 on electoral fraud charges in connection with the 2007 elections but was allowed bail.

She was rearrested in 2012 over the PCSO plunder case.

The Sandiganbayan on Thursday ordered Arroyo’s release in deference to the Supreme Court ruling.

The camp of the former President has said Arroyo’s acquittal proved that Aquino had engaged in political persecution.

‘Missing link’
Senate President Franklin Drilon, an Aquino ally, on Thursday called on the Ombudsman to find Uriarte and place her under the Witness Protection Program to reopen the plunder case.

Uriarte, Drilon said, had testified before the Senate that Arroyo personally approved the release of PCSO funds.

While Uriarte was included in the case filed by the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan, she was never found after her Senate appearance.

“The Ombudsman should initiate looking for her. She is the missing link,” Drilon said. “If she is in the United States or in a country with which we have an extradition treaty then the Interpol should work hard to bring her back here.”

Also missing is former PCSO director Fatima Valdes.

Uriarte and Valdes were the only PCSO officials who had avoided being investigated, while others were issued arrest warrants and subsequently allowed to post bail.

These were former PCSO general manager Sergio Valencia; former board members Manuel Morato, Jose Taruc and Raymundo Roquero; former Commission on Audit chairman Reynaldo Villar; and auditor Nilda Plaras.

Arroyo and PCSO budget and accounts manager Benigno Aguas were not allowed by the Sandiganbayan to post bail.

Drilon said: “I am saddened and disappointed, but I respect the decision of the Supreme Court. I assume they used their knowledge of the law.”

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14 Comments

  1. Penoy should blame his Ombudsman for her incompetency rather than the SC.
    Who prepared the evidences which were so many and alot of witnesses! But she can thank the ombudsman at the moment, they can be busy filing another case against PGMA which may not prosper that they will not have time to prosecute him for the many technical malversation he had done during his administration!

  2. Juan T. Delacruz on

    If we set aside personal feelings and look at the issues realistically and honestly, we may come up with a little bit more intelligent discussions. However, we Filipinos, are ignorant and arrogant in so many ways and at times, we let our personal feelings interfere on how we judge when expressing our opinions on different issues.

    I particularly did not like the past Administration, but the only thing they are saying is this: Arroyo authorized the release of P366 Million from PCSO and of course, she signed for it. Now, the majority of the Justices in Supreme Court voted to acquit her for weak or insufficient evidence. The silent majority of Filipinos are saying that “politics in the Philippines” is at its best. What kind of justice we have in the Philippines? This partisan politics should stop but it has been the practice in our country as long as I can remember.

  3. Technical malversation and “poor managerial performance” do not constitute plunder. But, see, you wanted her charged for plunder because plunder is a non-bailable offense, and you wanted her detained, that is why plunder. Besides, you must have thought plunder sounds a lot more insidious and malevolent. Problem is, plunder being a high crime also requires a higher level of criteria and proof to convict an accused. You must have thought that sort of evidence will show up along the way, but…

  4. As Anthony Taberna said in UKG this morning, don’t cry Atty. Aquino.
    So don’t cry over spilled milk Atty. Aquino, your time will also DAPsoon. So don’t cry as VMMH is waiting for you, Abad, Soliman, Alcala, Purisima & company. Sabi nga ni Boy Scout Binay ” Always Be Prepared ” and see you all soon!

  5. gago kang baboy drilon,ikaw ka kadami mong ninakaw gaya ng ilo ilo convention center,DAP,pdaf.Gago tingnan mo muna ang sarili mo

  6. I hope Pres Duterte will look also into Cudia case. who was not allowed to graduate , without due justification . His father died from heart attack after all his fathers dream for his son to graduate were all shuttered by the irresponsible PMA faculty and by former Pres Aquino.

  7. Mr. BS Aquino III , while GMA might have had committed anomalous transactions during her administration , it is too late now for you to be griping for your failure in prosecuting her … The Supreme Court has spoken !

    Ihanda mo na lang ang sarili mo sa mga araw na darating Boss !!!
    Magpagawa ka na kaya ng ala-corvette na wheel chair . he he he he
    Senator Franklin Drillon , knowing that Mesdames Uriarte and Valdez were the “Missing Links” for the prosecution of GMA , why did you not ask BS Aquino III to order the proper agencies to locate them through the Interpol ? … or did you ?

    Baka naman iba ang pinag-a-abalahan ninyo ni De Lima , ha Boss ? …he he he

  8. You can gripe all you want , SC has spoken and so Aquino and Drilon has to come to reality that they are not above the law and they must be prepared to explain the many injustices they did to Digong aggrieved poor , the farmers, typhoon victims , death of SAF in Mamasapano, impeachment of corona , Cadet Cudia dishonorable discharge ,illegal DAP and many more.

  9. The Philippines needs to scrape Aquino and the rest of the Liberal Party clowns off their collective shoe like dog crap.

    Aquino is the biggest plunderer the Philippines has ever seen via his abuse of the DAP fund.

    Aquino and Roxas should be charged for abandonment of the SAF 44 as well.

    Aquino and a couple hundred liberal party and former LP members need to be charged for stealing the pork barrel fund.

    Where does Aquino and his clowns get off pretending to be honorable instead of the thieves that they are ?

  10. 6 years and you cannot find Uriarte? What missing link Mr Drilon? Ms Uriarte is the missing link just like Capt Felipe Valerio is the missing link to finally unmask the real mastermind of Ninoy! 6 years in power and nothing to show for evidence if not for Carpio Sereno Caguioa and Leonen the voting will be unanimous for acquittal of GMA! Big slap to the face of Aquino! Aquino is now going crazy!

    • Carpio did not vote at all he inhibited which means he did not cast a vote.

      Only the 3 Aquino appointee’s voted against releasing Arroyo.
      Sereno, Caguioa and Leonen

  11. Look who is talking now.

    Well well well, BS Aquino will soon occupy the vacant room occupied by GMA at the Veterans Hospital. Unless, he prefers Pegasus or Classmate, both clubs are in QC.