Arroyo in tears, Calvary ‘over’

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 ‘RESURRECTION ’Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (left) is shown in high spirits, and without her neck brace, after being told of her acquittal from a plunder charge by one of her lawyers, Raul Lambino (right). Arroyo, 69, is set to walk free after hospital detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center since 2012.   PHOTO COURTESY OF RAUL LAMBINO

‘RESURRECTION
’Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (left) is shown in high spirits, and without her neck brace, after being told of her acquittal from a plunder charge by one of her lawyers, Raul Lambino (right). Arroyo, 69, is set to walk free after hospital detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center since 2012. PHOTO COURTESY OF RAUL LAMBINO

Ruling is immediately executory

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FORMER President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was in tears upon learning on Tuesday that after four years in detention, she will finally be free.

Arroyo, now a representative of Pampanga, was surrounded by former members of her Cabinet, son Juan Miguel and grandchildren in her room at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City as news came of her acquittal from a plunder case instigated by the previous Aquino administration.

Arroyo, 69, whose nine-year rule ended in 2010 with the Philippines escaping the global financial crisis on the strength of its service-sector led economy, thanked God, members of the Supreme Court, and President Rodrigo Duterte ahead of her impending release after undergoing what she described as an unjust persecution.

“First and foremost, to God Almighty be all the glory and praise. Through His kindness and mercy, justice and righteousness have once again prevailed over injustice and wrongdoing,” Arroyo said in a statement.

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Honorable Members of the Supreme Court for finally stopping the persecution I had unjustly gone through the last five years. My most profound appreciation to His Excellency Rodrigo Duterte for allowing due process to take its course,” she said.

“With the High Tribunal rendering a final decision on this unfortunate episode, I sincerely hope that everyone will respect and recognize the truth that has been established,” she added.

Aides said Arroyo’s priority is to have her medical condition, cervical spondylosis, checked. If freed this week, she will have the chance to attend next Monday’s State of the Nation Address.

One of Arroyo’s lawyers, Raul Lambino, broke the news early on Tuesday of the 11-4 Supreme Court vote acquitting and freeing the former President.

“Naiyak po siya, siyempre lahat ng mga kasama namin rito sa magandang balitang dumating sa atin. Para sa akin, malaya na ang dating Pangulo (She was in tears along with the rest of us because of the good news that reached us. As far as I am concerned, the former President is free),” Lambino said in a radio interview.

Arroyo however will have to wait for at least a day as the official text of the Supreme Court ruling was not released on Tuesday, said Laurence Arroyo, her defense lawyer (not related).

The copy of the ruling is needed to secure the former President’s release papers from the Sandiganbayan that tried her for plunder over her alleged misuse of funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

‘Good Friday over, resurrection has come’
Former solicitor general Estelito Mendoza, a top-notch lawyer who was part of the Arroyo legal team, said the ruling was significant as the former President did not even have to present evidence.

Arroyo sought and was granted a demurrer to evidence, arguing that the prosecution had a weak case.

“From inception there was no basis for her to be imprisoned or detained … There could not have been a more unjust situation,” Mendoza told reporters at the VMMC.

“Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Good Friday is finally over. Her resurrection has come.

Unfortunately it has been a long Good Friday through a Calvary made by man,” he added.
Mendoza said Arroyo might attend the next National Security Council meeting.

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, spokesman for former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, said the ruling was a validation that “the charges against [Arroyo] are nothing more than disingenuous attempts at political persecution by a corrupt and inept Aquino administration.”

“We all join the new government in its fight against criminality, corruption and its economic and political reforms that will surely usher in a new golden age for our country and people,” he added.

‘Accept decision’
Malacañang, now occupied by the new administration of President Duterte, urged the public to accept the decision.

“The Supreme Court has spoken. Let us respect and abide by the High Court’s decision,” it said in a brief statement.

In a press conference in the Palace, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza, who served in the Arroyo Cabinet, said he “rejoiced” over the SC decision.

“We see that justice has been served with the decision of the SC. Personally, I rejoiced over this decision,” said Dureza, who served as press secretary and peace adviser under Arroyo.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said “it’s about time” the high court acquitted Arroyo.

“All the respondents have been released … In a conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all.
The reverse is true. The innocence of one is the innocence of all,” Panelo added.

Trier of facts
Senator Leila de Lima, who ordered Arroyo’s arrest as Justice secretary under the Aquino administration, cast doubt on Tuesday’s court decision, saying: “Why do they have to wait for the change of administration to issue that ruling?”

“It is disappointing. It is disheartening. What is happening?” she commented in an interview with reporters.

De Lima said the Supreme Court had assumed the role of “trier of facts,” instead of leaving it up to the Sandiganbayan, which originally junked Arroyo’s demurrer.

Rep. Carlos Zarate of the Bayan Muna party-list group expressed “grave disappointment” at the dismissal of the plunder case.

“More could have been done to strengthen the case and make the former President accountable. Unfortunately, it seems that the previous Aquino administration was merely contented in keeping her politically paralyzed in the past six years rather than obtaining a conviction,” he said in a statement.

Former Davao City representative Prospero Nograles, who was Speaker under Arroyo, said the former leader will now have the chance to set the record straight—that the foundations of country’s economic gains were laid down during her rule.

“I am happy that she can now continue serving our nation without any restriction. With her release from the Veterans Hospital after four years of hospital arrest, she can again join debates and discussions in Congress to share her expertise not only as former president but as one of the country’s best economist,” he said.

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33 Comments

  1. Eduardo valdez on

    So whats the big fuss about intelligence fund (IF) being misused? Isn’t IF an item in the budget that is meant to be pocketed by corrupt public officials? The tragic part of it all is that public officials who steal it are committing a perfect crime considering that how the IF is spent is beyond the scrutiny of the COA.

  2. kulong si PNoy together with the top 3 oligarchs……conyos, permakasi, kamaganak / ?

  3. Ignacio Balbutin on

    This is truly long overdue. It was a pity that during the time of abnoy that during the time of abnoy the judicial branch of government which was suppose to be independent from the executive became subservient to the executive. Now the three branches of government should truly be independent one from another to provide real check and balances.

  4. Gloria sell the Phi to China.. bakit pinalaya yan!! bukas tingnan nyo wala na sakit nya sa leeg nya at likod.. mag golf n ulit sya

  5. Senator Leila de Lima, who ordered Arroyo’s arrest as Justice secretary under the Aquino administration, cast doubt on Tuesday’s court decision, saying: “Why do they have to wait for the change of administration to issue that ruling?”
    —————————————————

    That’s actually a good question, Why do they have to wait until Aquino leaves ?

    • Simple answer…why would they release her with Aquino still in power, after all this was all his idea to persecute her and Chief Justice Corona.

    • Under the Aquino administration, the SC had been emasculated — with members living under threat of impeachment, like what happened to former CJ Corona. Has De Lima forgotten how she herself disregarded the Supreme Court’s TRO on GMA’s hold departure order by the DOJ? GMA’s detention was a pet project of PNoy.

    • the answer is obvious…benigno 3rd does not want GMA freed during his term…delilah must be made answerable also when she tried to block GMA from leaving the country bound for singapore for hospitalization even when the supreme court has already allowed the former president to travel.

    • Kasi takot sila kay Pnoy baka ma CJ Corona sila alam niyo naman pera pera lang sa congreso at senado

    • Bonifacio Bangayan Claudio on

      Noon kasi eh malamang na umiiral pa ang malaking takot nila sa “resbak” ng yelo na singbigat at singlupit ng ngitngit ng mga demonyo. Yun yun aiiiiii… oh, ‘di nga baga?! Ala eh, di nga kasi !!!

  6. Justice has been served after a period of so long delayed. It is very unfortunate, so much time has been wasted when after all there was no reason to defer the action of acquittal. Mabuhay si Ginang Ex-President Gloria Macaraeg Arroyo. God bless you and long live…..be healthy and strong.

  7. Its a long overdue. The primordial question which all filipinos should asked as a matter of policy on our society is ARE WE TO PUT IN JAIL PEOPLE WHOM WE PRESSUME TO BE GUILTY BASE ON THE LEADERS WHIMSICAL CAPRICES? ARE WE TO TOLERATE TBIS BEHAVIOR? Imagine being jailed for 4 years just to be found in a DEMURER weak wvidences? Just like De Lima we should say back ITS disheartening. BRAVO SC!!!!

  8. Magtigil ka nga de limang hostesya.Parehas lang kjayo ng amo mong NOYTARD at kawatang mga yellow gangs na puro satsat,paghihiganti at pagpapabaya nang nasa pwesto.Mga putang-inang ninyo lahat.

  9. Putang Ina mo De Lima! Pa disappointed at disheartening ka pa. Di ba at pina arresto mo ng walang warrant sya. Hayop ka mukhang baboy. Mag babayad ka rin tulad ng amo Mong kalbo.

    • correct ka diyan, sabi niya ang SC not the trier of facts, edi ba siya ang huwes na hindi nag paalis kay pgma sa airport para mag abroad at kumunsulta sa mga dalubhasang mga doctor. edi ba siya ang secretary na injustice sila ni ombudsman carpio morales ang nag machination para masampahan ng kaso si pgma ng walang basehan. lahat ng kaso ni pgma isa isa crumpled na dismiss na. nakakahiya kayo mag bigti na lang kayo magagaling na abogado kayo pati na si adolf hitler pnoy isama na ninyo pati na rin ang liberal party/nazi party

  10. She is one of the best president and innocent only those who jealous to her way of government they could not get their PDAP and accomplishment those they put her on jail but they done more stealing of trillions and ruins the whole country with drugs. Never been a country the vast corruption on prev gov’t. Gloria provide new asphalted road to our place I never reached the end of of it trans crossing to other barrios and municipalities,. But for prev gov’t I never seen any 1 meter been constructed they just swallowed the whole 6 years budget the most corrupt in the history.

    • The Pnoy admin was really one for the books:
      1.an irrational president.
      2.a “student council” cabinet.
      3.an obligatory punching bag.