MALACAÑANG on Wednesday said it is bound to respect the Supreme Court (SC) order stopping for 30 days the plunder trial of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Sandiganbayan.
“Well, that is a resolution of the Supreme Court. As always, we will respect and respond to (it)… I think there is a resolution asking government to respond. So we will just act on what the Supreme Court has directed the government to do,” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
In a press briefing, Lacierda also subscribed to the possibility that Arroyo may not even be convicted of the charges against her during the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
“There’s an expectation but there is also the reality that the judiciary operates separately, independently from the Executive branch,” the official told reporters.
He maintained that the tribunal has the sole power to act on such cases.
“When it comes to the judicial process, we always defer and respect the process and how a particular case proceeds,” Lacierda pointed out.
The SC issued a status quo ante order in relation to the case involving the allegedly anomalous disbursement of the intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) amounting to P365 million during Arroyo’s term as president.
The High Court also ordered the Sandiganbayan’s 1st Division to comment on Arroyo’s petition for certiorari, which was filed by her legal counsel, former Solicitor-General Estelito Mendoza.