The Daily Manila Shimbun


SC affirms Arroyo’s acquittal of plunder case

April 18, 2017

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sustained its earlier decision dismissing the plunder case filed against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in connection with alleged misuse of P366 million Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) fund which caused her release from detention at the Veteran's Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City last July 2016. During its en banc session in Baguio City, the High Tribunal resolved to deny a motion for reconsideration filed by the Office of the Ombudsman for lack of merit. SC spokesperson Ted Te said 11 magistrates voted to dismiss the appeal of the anti-graft body, while four  justices voted to grant the motion for reconsideration seeking a reversal of its earlier ruling. In its July 2016 decision, the high court granted Arroyo’s petition for demurrer of evidence, which sought dismissal of her case for lack of sufficient evidence. The decision was penned by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin. The SC granted the same relief to her co-accused, former PCSO Assistant General Manager Benigno Aguas, and ordered his release from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center. “The Court noted that its decision had granted petitioners’ respective demurrers to the evidence which resulted in their acquittal and thus any attempt to reconsider the Decision would amount to double jeopardy,” Te said. Before granting Arroyo’s petition, the SC stopped the Sandiganbayan from further conducting proceedings, in connection with Arroyo’s plunder case pending resolution of her petition before the high court. Arroyo was arrested in 2012 in connection with the plunder case for alleged misuse of P366 million PCSO fund from 2008 to 2010. DMS