SC affirms GMA acquittal


The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday stood pat on its majority ruling acquitting former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the crime of plunder.

During their summer session in Baguio City, the magistrates junked the motion for reconsideration filed by the Office of the Ombudsman, citing the principle of double jeopardy.

With the same vote of 11 against 4, the high court ruled to affirm the granting of demurrer to evidence to Arroyo for lack of sufficient evidence to prove the crime of plunder.

Arroyo no longer presented evidence before the Sandiganbayan.

The SC said that with Arroyo’s acquittal, criminal proceedings can no longer be pursued.

Arroyo was accused of embezzling P366 million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) from 2008 to 2010.

Besides Arroyo, also charged with plunder by the Ombudsman were PCSO General Manager and Vice Chairman Rosario Uriarte, members of the Board of Directors Manuel Morato, Jose Taruc, Raymundo Roquero, Ma. Fatima Valdes; Budget and Accounts Manager Benigno Aguas; Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Reynaldo Villar; and former COA CIF Fraud Audit Unit head Nilda Plaras.


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