Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Arroyo Acquittal: Sad Day for Justice
Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros today expressed her sadness and disappointment with the Supreme Court's decision acquitting former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from a P 366 million plunder case the senator filed in 2011 together with two other co-petitioners.
"It's a sad day for justice," Hontiveros said.
In an 11-4 ruling, the high court voted to acquit Arroyo, thereby freeing her from 4 years of hospital arrest due to the case.
Hontiveros, along with former Brigadier General Danilo Lim and social activist Jimmy Regalario, filed the PCSO plunder cases before the Ombudsman in 2011.
“The case we filed is strong. In fact, it was one of the two PCSO plunder cases admitted by the Office of the Ombudsman under Conchita Carpio Morales, and subsequently filed before the Sandiganbayan”, she recalled.
Ombudsman confirmed misuse of funds
Hontiveros said that the Ombudsman confirmed the diversion of funds from PCSO’s operating budget to the confidential or intelligence fund, which can be withdrawn or accessed any time and with few restrictions.
It was reported that the diversion of funds did not meet any legal requirements aside from the approval of the President.
“The Ombudsman also confirmed that the said funds were converted, misused and illegally-transferred the funds for their own use in the guise of fictitious expenditures”, added the Senator.
"Tuloy ang laban"
Hontiveros said that she would confer with her co-petitioners on the best course of action to take to pursue justice and accountability from the corrupt Arroyo government.
“I am shocked with the high court’s ruling”, remarked Hontiveros. “But we will not lose hope”.
“Tuloy ang laban para sa katarungan," Hontiveros concluded. #