• Court orders government to reply in P365-M case

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    THE Supreme Court (SC) ordered the government to lodge its explanation to the petition filed by a co-accused of former President and now Rep. Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga in connection with the plunder case pending at the Sandiganbayan.

    In an en banc Court resolution dated November 26 released to the media recently, it ordered the Office of the Ombudsman to comment within a period of 10 days from notice in view of the petition filed by former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Gen. Manager Rosario Uriarte.

    “Acting on the petition for certiorari, the court resolved, without giving due course to the petition, to require the respon-dents to comment thereon within 10 days from notice hereof,” states the ruling.

    Uriarte is still in hiding with a pending non-bailable arrest warrant against her.

    Uriarte has asked the SC to dismiss the P365.9-million plunder case filed against her before the Sandiganbayan. The case stemmed from the supposed misuse of PCSO intelligence funds.

    Uriarte argued that even in the preliminary investigation conducted by the Ombudsman, necessary elements of plunder under section 2 of Republic Act 2080 were not established.

    The Ombudsman alleged that Arroyo, Uriarte along with other lottery and Commission on Audit officials, conspired to divert lottery funds to the President’s intelligence fund.

    Other co-accused to the case are former PCSO Assistant Gen. Manager Benigno Aguas, and board of directors Sergio Valencia, Manuel “Manoling” Morato, Jose Taruc 5th, Ma. Fatima Valdez, along with former Commis- sion on Audit Chairperson Reynaldo Villar.

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