Sandiganbayan frees Arroyo

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Former President Gloria Arroyo won her freedom Thursday after the Sandiganbayan ordered her release in compliance with the decision of the Supreme Court.

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The First Division of the anti-graft court, in a resolution, ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately free Arroyo who is detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC).

The order also covered the former president’s co-accused, Benigno Aguas.

“In view thereof, accused Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aguas are hereby ordered RELEASED from detention immediately, unless they are being held in custody for other reasons not related to this case,” the court said.

Aguas is the budget accounts manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), who is detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The resolution was signed by division chairman Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz, Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and junior member Associate Justice Geraldine Faith Econg.

The High Court, through a vote of 11-4, on Tuesday dismissed the plunder case against Arroyo for lack of evidence. ANGELICA BALLESTEROS

AB/CC

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