Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division stood pat on its ruling dismissing the graft and breach of conduct charges filed against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in connection with the botched $329-million national broadband network (NBN) deal.
In a five-page ruling dated November 7 and made public on Wednesday, the anti-graft court threw out the prosecution’s plea to reconsider the dismissal of the cases.
“After a reading of all the arguments of the prosecution and the accused, this Court finds the arguments of the prosecution insufficient to warrant the reversal of the questioned resolution,” the court said. “The prosecution failed to raise new and substantial arguments, and no cogent reason exists to warrant a reconsideration of the Court’s Resolution.”
The charges against Arroyo, now a Pampanga representative, were filed in 2011 but the court dropped the complaints in August for lack of evidence.
Meanwhile, the prosecution has a pending motion for reconsideration on the dismissal of a separate graft case filed against Arroyo, her husband Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo and former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. also in connection with the NBN deal.
They were accused of violation of Section 3(g) of the anti-graft law which prohibits public officers from entering, on behalf of the government, into any contract or transaction that is manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government.