GMA appeals anti-graft court’s plunder ruling

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Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is seeking reconsideration from the Sandiganbayan’s First Division following the court’s denial to dismiss the plunder
case filed against her.

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Arroyo, now Pampanga representative, is facing a P366-million plunder case in connection with the alleged misuse of state charity funds during her presidency.

In a 27-page Motion for Reconsideration, her camp asked the anti-graft court “to reconsider its Resolution dated 6 April 2015 and issue a new one granting her Demurrer to Evidence…and dismissing the case against her on the ground that the Prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt her guilt in the crime of Plunder.”

The defense argued that the prosecution handling the case failed to prove “the fundamental element of ‘amassing, accumulating, and acquiring ill-gotten wealth’” and to establish that Arroyo conspired with anyone to commit plunder.

“The prosecution’s additional evidence during trial diluted rather than buttressed its evidence against President Arroyo,” it added.

Filed by an accused after the prosecution rests its case, a demurrer submits the case for judgment based only on the latter’s evidence on ground that proof does not warrant conviction.

The Sandiganbayan granted the demurrers of Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Reynaldo Villar and former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Directors Manuel Morato, Raymundo Roquero and Jose Taruc 5th, who were all consequently acquitted.

The case against Arroyo, former PCSO budget and accounts manager Benigno Aguas and former PCSO Chairman Sergio Valencia stays as the court denied their demurrers.

In her appeal, Arroyo argued that to say that she participated in the accumulation of ill-gotten wealth, directly or indirectly, is to concede that she did not accumulate ill-gotten wealth.

This is because the only proof of her alleged participation was her approval for the requests for CIF or confidential and intelligence funds, it said.

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