• SANDIGAN ISSUES RELEASE PAPERS

    Arroyo free at last

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    Former President Gloria MacapagalArroyo’s convoy arrives at her La Vista Homes village in Quezon City from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO

    Former President Gloria MacapagalArroyo’s convoy arrives at her La Vista Homes village in Quezon City from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO

    FORMER President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo left her detention cell at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City around 6 p.m. on Thursday, free at last after four years in a hospital cell.

    Arroyo evaded media personnel waiting for her vehicle to get out of the Veterans’ hospital, and went straight to her home in La Vista Subdivision, also in Quezon City.

    “She felt really, really happy and really relieved,” her defense lawyer Laurence Arroyo (not related) told reporters.

    The former President was acquitted by the Supreme Court en banc on Tuesday of plunder charges filed against her by the government of ex-President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd in connection with the alleged misuse of P366 million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

    Arroyo’s camp said she came out of the VMMC with her family except her husband, former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, who is abroad. The former President went ahead of her lawyers.

    The former President was also planning to undergo an executive check-up and spend Thursday night at St. Luke’s Medical Center at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

    The former President was escorted by the Philippine National Police’s Police Security and Protection Group, which is tasked to secure VIPs.

    Seeking medical opinion abroad is also an option for Arroyo, who has cervical spondylosis, a condition of wear and tear affecting spinal disks in the neck.

    “I think that’s an option for her because over the course of the four years we’ve been regularly discussing that option to seek medical treatment abroad,” the lawyer Arroyo said.

    ‘At peace’
    The former leader is reported to be planning to attend the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.

    The former First Gentleman’s spokesman, Ferdinand Topacio, told reporters outside the VMMC that Arroyo is raring to go back to Congress for legislative work.

    Asked if Arroyo harbors ill feelings or anger toward her successor, Aquino, who put her in jail, Topacio replied: “Not that I’ve discerned from our conversation earlier. It seems she is at peace with herself. I think she’s happy that the ordeal is over and what I hear from her is all about work.”

    Topacio also said Arroyo took “in stride” the two-day wait for her release from detention because of the delay in the release of the full text of the Supreme Court ruling.

    Former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, an Arroyo appointee forced to resign by the Aquino administration in 2011, said in a statement on Thursday that the SC ruling acquitting Arroyo meant that the former President “is free of charges.”

    “We are a nation governed by the rule of law, subject of the law and must have respect for the rule of law,” Gutierrez said.

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    11 Comments

    1. Juan T. Delacruz on

      The most powerful element in the world was involved, and that is MONEY. By nature, this element can change “impossible” to a more favorable, regardless how difficult it may be. If Arroyo believed that the evidence against her is weak, why she has to wait until there is a change in Administration? The other reason why there was money involved is that – the justices that voted for her acquittal are not stupid enough to acquit her without hefty compensation. They already made themselves like a bunch of stupid fools by declaring the evidence against her is weak. Siyempre, may kapalit.

      • Ang babaw pre. Dapat ang tanong ay bakit di nila na convict si Arroyo bago bumaba si Pinoy? Baka talagang walang makitang malakas na ebidensya?

    2. For nine whole years we had a government which have no “balls” who are all scared of only one person who is even alleged to have mental problems, does not have legislative accomplishment, does not have leadership and management qualities, very boastful, credit grabber, thrives in revenge against personal and political enemies, makes bribing an ordinary, normal anomaly to get what he wants done. Government workers are so scared of this man not because he is a good leader but because the are afraid that he will use his position and public money to punish them. It takes a new administration to correct what were wrong. Aling Gloria Arroyo is a victim of this man and she should have been freed years ago because all evidence against her in the fabricated plunder charges are so weak. But look at Carpio-Morales and Leila de Lima, these anomalous personalities have the gall to complain against thew SC decisions.

    3. The SC Justices freed G. Macapagal Arroyo of the charges labeled against her for four years. If in fact she is innocent, why did they (the Justices) have have to wait this long to acquit her? Have there been: 1) new evidence supporting her innocence, or 2) political machinations came into play? In any case, JUSTICE is corrupted.

      • Franck Frego on

        Clearly political machinations…. Arroyo did not even provided a Defense! Ombudsman’s case was so weak, no evidence to show any culpability of any fault.

        Hope political involved in this b.s case will now PAY with the right case at Court.

      • Simple answer, the case was not filed in the SC until one month ago. There is no such thing as evidence of innocence in this case, it is the job of the Sandigan to produce a CREDIBLE EVIDENCE AND WITNESSES. to prove Arroyo is guilty. And “OK” initial in a document does not make one guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The reason why the delay? The Sandigan was sitting on the case, waiting that Aquino will be out of office.

      • you are wrong there kaibigan, the sandiganbayan refused to honor arroyo’s request for demurrer of evidence thus she went to the supreme court. it is the supreme court which appreciated her plea and declared her innocent of plunder. if i am not mistaken, she filed her plea with the sc last year. remember that she did not offer any contrary evidence to disprove the state’s evidences. it is the lack of evidence to prove the plunder case even with truckloads of documents presented by ombudsman that freed her.

      • Absolutely correct. Someone in the administration may have orchestrated the acquittal. But your are right. Crimes does not pay.
        There must be strong evidence to pin down President Arroyo. She could not escape the justice above.

    4. Justices from the SandiganBayan decided to imprisoned Gloria Arroyo based on the evidences presented to them by the Ombudsman, and yet, this was rebuked by the eight Justices of the Supreme Court. Why did the Justices from the Supreme Court reverse the decision of the Sandigan Bayan Justices? Are they (8 supreme court justices) trying to show to the Sandigan Bayan Justices that they are much smarter and intelligent than the later? Or is this another case of political influence and bribery?