• Delay in GMA acquittal feared

    24

    DESPITE an “overwhelming” majority in favor of the acquittal of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from a plunder charge, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is expected to try to block the move, Supreme Court sources have told The Manila Times.

    Sereno is said to be concerned over keeping her job and allegedly wants Arroyo, an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, to help make sure she is not impeached by Congress, the sources said.

    “Para makuha ang boto ni Sereno at para hindi niya harangin at i-dribble ang acquittal ni President Arroyo, ang gusto ni Sereno kausapin ni GMA si President Duterte na huwag siyang patalsikin bilang Chief Justice [To get Sereno’s vote and for Sereno not to block or delay the acquittal of President Arroyo, Sereno wants GMA to tell President Duterte not to remove her as Chief Justice],” the source claimed.

    Duterte has openly admitted that Arroyo is his friend and had in fact offered to pardon the former President. But the latter declined, saying it would be tantamount to admitting guilt.

    Arroyo insists that she is innocent in the non-bailable plunder charge for the alleged embezzlement of P366 million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office from 2008 to 2010.

    “How can Sereno make that [kind of]bargaining? She is only one vote in the Supreme Court [even if she is the]Chief Justice. The problem is she can delay the case by asking for several postponements by asking to ‘call again’ the case,” the Supreme Court (SC) source said.

    The deliberations and possible voting of the Supreme Court magistrates on the Arroyo plunder case will take place on July 19, a regular en banc session of the High Court.

    Sources earlier told The Manila Times that an overwhelming majority of justices will concur with the draft ponencia of Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin acquitting Arroyo via a demurrer to evidence.

    Once Arroyo wins in the High Court, it will order her “release from detention” from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

    Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, meanwhile, has circulated his dissenting opinion opposing the acquittal.

    Sereno and Leonen are known allies in the SC, with ties going back to the University of the Philippines College of Law.

    A demurrer to evidence can be sought when the accused pleads for the dismissal of the charges after the prosecution has presented its evidence and rested its case.

    Defendant Arroyo no longer presented evidence before the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court on the belief that the prosecution, headed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, presented insufficient evidence.

    The Sandiganbayan rejected Arroyo’s demurrer last year, and this ruling was brought to the Supreme Court for review.

    Granting the demurrer will have the effect of acquitting Arroyo, and the case cannot be refiled anymore by the Ombudsman under the principle of “double jeopardy.”

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    24 Comments

    1. Dapst lang alisin yan 9 SC justices para malinis ating duoteme court sobra binaniy ng 9 SC yan SC kaya maalis na sila

      • Balakubak ni pnoy on

        Ex President pnoy will fund rasing to bribe the 199 congressman to be used to impeached Lourdes sereno for not being good as a prosecution against pandak.. The Hacienda Luicita now back in limbo..
        Caling caling Delima and Trillanes

    2. Why is the CHR silent ? GMA has blatantly been persecuted for the past 6 years. Is the CHR waiting for the UN decision on her persecution case?

    3. Matino na Pinoy on

      These morons that do not quite understand the issue, have expressed their hatred and dislikes to Justices Leonen, Sereno and former President without understanding why these two justices will block any attempt to acquit Arroyo because of the “demurer of evidence”.

      Demurer of evidence means that the evidence produced or submitted to by the Ombudsman was insufficient and cannot sustain the issue. Not enough evidence kunu. Is it because the disappearance of the P366 million cannot be proven that Arroyo deposited this money under her personal bank account? She was the one who signed the authorization for this amount to be released in the first place and why can’t she be liable? This will only influence other government officials who are in the position to withdraw their agency’s budget and spend it on anything without accountability, whether the money was spent legitimately or not.

      The same action what Lito Atienza have done when he was still the DNER Secretary under the Arroyo Administration, in which he took it upon himself to spend his agency’s budget to go and watch Manny Paquiao’s boxing bout held in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. He did not return a single Peso to the Filipino people, even after he faced the Senate probe. Philippine corrupt practices are still common?

      If the P366 Million was added to the regular DepEd budget, it would have benefitted more Filipinos to achieve formal educations, and would have improved their analytical abilities to analyze issues such as this, or they may suggest better solutions, instead of how bad this person is or how ugly that person was.

      • Balakubak ni pnoy on

        With the new admin.. ex yellows has no longer support,sabi nga ni Mr Boy droga” bahala na kayo sa buhay nyo” sasamahan ko kayo kung saan makakabili ng droga

    4. I highly believe that Chief Justice Sereno is acting like a politician congresswoman with her personal interest at the helm. A justice like Sereno, including Leonen, should be blinded by their vested interest as well as their prejudice and hate towards any individual of political color. The rule of law and evidence should top foremost in your decision to the case, more so, it involved the former president of the Republic. Have faith CJ Sereno on your future at the Supreme Court, and remember that you were there as a CJ as an outcome of a political maneuverings and illegal impeachment process of your political benefactors.

      • Balakubak ni pnoy on

        Sereno ang Leone are a true loyalist like jim Paredes ,Cythia Patag ang Leah navarro.. Yellow citizen for eternaty

    5. ferdinand naboye on

      sana the sc members have still delicadeza in the person. the whole country knows where these SC justices are getting order. It is time to bring back trust at the judiciary by removing those appointed to protect their appointing patrons interest only. kung may hiya ang mga SC justices just pack up and leave the court you do not deserve to serve under a tainted personality.

      • Do you even understand what a demurrer to evidence means? If the case against Arroyo is dismissed it will be due to the prosecution’s failure to present substantial evidence necessary for conviction. The degree of proof necessary in this case is “proof beyond reasonable doubt”. Don’t blame the SC justices if Arroyo is exonerated. The fault lies with the Office of the Ombudsman.

    6. Sereno and Leonen do not deserve to be in the Supreme Court. Judicial reform can only start if these two and those other justices who brazenly allowed Grace Poe to run despite her citizenship infirmities are impeached, kicked out of the judiciary and disbarred from practicing law.

      • Bakit hindi sila ang alisin ng mga vigilante? Di ba mga addict din yang dalawa – addict sa kapangyarihan.

      • Balakubak ni pnoy on

        They were place there for a purpose of protecting abnoy’s interest in the future. Duterte must do something to get rid of this parasites before they can caused a nightmare

    7. It’s time to impeach Sereno. Protecting her personal interest rather than serving the public is clearly ‘betrayal of public trust’. Wanting in integrity, she is just a creation of Pnoy & does not even deserve to become an Associate Justice.

      An innocent person of the charges against him/her should not stay a minute longer in detention. That’s depriving her of her liberty. Come to think of it, GMA is a hardworking and productive lady. Even when sick and in detention she has filed a number of bills and some were even signed into law by Pnoy. How much more if she is Congress? Besides, it’s time her district be properly represented in Congress.

    8. I find this news, if true, OFFENSIVE AND DISHEARTENING. It simply shows that our justices do not act according to the FACTS of a case but are more influenced by their PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS. What kind of judicial system is this?

      These justices should be kicked out of the Supreme Court!. They have no business being there. They should be ASHAMED of themselves. Alis diyan, mga walang hiya.

      • Everybody should sin a petition to the vigilantes na yan addict sa kapangyarihan ay alisin na.

    9. If this is the truth, why is Lourdes Sereno so scared that Gloria Arroyo be found innocent and why is Marvic Leonen also afraid to leave Arroyo free? Basing recent history, Gloria Arroyo was never seen as a vindictive person and Pres. Duterte promised he will not get involved with the other branches of government. Is it because they have PNoy’s command and that these 2 are not independent after all. Let us see what happens on July 19th.

      • The yellow hand of the autistic benigno the turd can be seen here manipulating his appointed puppet justices…

    10. The country would be bettered served by getting rid of the Aquino appointees infesting the government.

      Ombudsman Carpio-Morales,Associate Justice Leonen, Chief Justice Sereno all should be impeached as soon as possible.

    11. James Velina on

      Do not worry Madam Chief Justice Sereno, President Duterte is not like P-Noy. He is not vindictive and abuser of governmental powers

    12. Tito F. HERMOSO on

      Supposing it is true that Sereno wants to get on the good side of Duterte, it will be to her advantage to vote WITH THE MAJORITY to acquit GMA. I am not one to teach her Gaming Theory nor Statistical Probablilites, but she’s got a better chance for staying if she acquits GMA, afterall, most of her fellow justices see it the same way. Security in “going with the flow”.

      • You should not vote to get on the favorite side of the President. You vote based on legal merits and facts of the case. Sadly GMA never should have been charged in the
        First place with no evidence available. Aquino keeps her in jail until he leaves office by requesting multiple trial date extensions to find more evidence. 6 years later she still in jail. What a disgusting human rights violation Aquino has committed. Aquino should be hanging from nearest tree.

    13. Hayan natatakot na sa sarili nilang multo ang mga dilawan justice ng supreme court, dapat lang tanggalin yan si Sereno at Leonen sa supreme court isama na rin si Ombudsman Conchitae Moral-les dahil minaboy nila ang batas ng sandigan bayan at ng korte, puro may mga tupak yan nilagay ni Aquino sa pwesto, tulad nyang may sayad!