Tuesday, December 25, 2012

4 constituents petition court to drop Arroyo case

4 constituents petition court to drop Arroyo case
By Manolo B. Jara     December 25, 2012   

MANILA: Four of her provincial constituents have petitioned the Supreme Court (SC) to drop the plunder case filed against embattled former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which is non-bailable and carries and maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The petitioners justified their move to intervene in the case, claiming they were deprived of their right to representation in Congress since a special court called the Sandiganbayan ordered that Arroyo be placed under hospital arrest following the filing of the plunder case against her.

In their petition, they said they voted for Arroyo when she ran and won as member of the House of Representatives for her home province of Pampanga in Central Luzon in the May 2010 election.

Although ailing and under hospital arrest, Arroyo announced she would seek reelection in the coming May 2013 midterm polls less than five months away.

The petitioners also parroted Arroyo’s claim that the plunder complaint was part of the “political harassment” launched against her, members of her family and their cronies by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

The case stemmed from Arroyo’s alleged involvement in the illegal disbursement of $8 million in intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), which runs the online lotto patronised by millions of Filipinos.

Government prosecutors said the fund was used, among others, by Arroyo and PCSO officials to support her candidates in the May 2010 presidential elections won overwhelmingly by Aquino.

Earlier, the Sandiganbayan threw out for lack of merit Arroyo’s petition that she be allowed to leave a government medical facility in Metro Manila where she is under hospital arrest so she could spend Christmas and the New Year with her family and constituents in Pampanga.

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