Latest Stories

Arroyo lawyer nixes consolidation of charges in NBN deal case


MANILA, Philippines—Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s lawyer opposed in court Friday the consolidation of three different charges against her in connection with the corruption scandal that led to the scuttling of a $329-million national broadband network contract with the Chinese ZTE Corp.

Lawyer Estelito Mendoza told the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division that the consolidation of two cases for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and one case for violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees violated her rights as an accused.

While these are consolidated into one case, the accused is exposed to “possible conviction” on three crimes, said Mendoza, counsel for Arroyo, who now represents Pampanga’s second district in the House of Representatives.

“In our view, the consolidation of cases is not allowed. It violates the constitutional requirement that an accused shall be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him and that an information can charge only one offense,” Mendoza later told reporters, echoing what he said in court.

Hence, the consolidation was “prejudicial” to Arroyo, he said.

The lawyers for the other accused, Arroyo’s husband Jose Miguel Arroyo and former Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza, also adopted Mendoza’s position. A fourth accused is former Comelec chair Benjamin Abalos Jr.

Justice Gregory Ong, chair of the division, gave the prosecution 15 days to comment on the defense motion for reconsideration of the consolidation of the cases.

Arroyo was charged with two counts of graft and one count of violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards.  Mike Arroyo, Abalos and Mendoza were charged along with her in one of the graft cases.

The national broadband network deal with China’s ZTE Corp. was canceled in 2008 by then President Arroyo after a Senate inquiry showed that the project was overpriced and that some high officials had received kickbacks. The contract was originally priced at $130 million.

Arroyo is detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on separate charges of electoral sabotage, which carry no provision for bail.

Ong also gave the defense five days to reply to the prosecution’s opposition to their earlier motion for the production of evidence against Arroyo and her co-accused in preparation for a pre-trial conference.

The prosecution had argued that the documents being sought by the defense were already in the possession of the court, and that the discretion on whether to allow the production of evidence lay with the court.

“I don’t understand why the prosecution opposes that. It’s the essence of a criminal case that the prosecution is not out to convict but to ferret out the truth. If they have statements favorable or unfavorable to the accused so that the accused may properly prepare for trial, then they should provide those to the accused,” Mendoza said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Broadband , Graft and Corruption , Judiciary , NBN-ZTE

  • ApoLapullapu

    The position of the prosecution tends to indicate that it is not determined to give justice to all concerned but to delay the trial for as long as possible so that the accused can be detained indefinitely without conviction since proving guild beyond reasonable doubt is difficult.

  • Malik62

    Surely the SolGen is committing a “bobo” here and the cases will end up being dismissed.  BS Aquino x3 will look for scapegoats again.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Romblon mining site collapses; 3 killed
  • South Korea says 295 missing in ferry disaster
  • OFW who returned home from UAE tests positive for MERS-CoV – DOH chief
  • QC cops bear crosses as penance for demerits
  • Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  • Sports

  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Fielder ends HR drought, Rangers beat Mariners 5-0
  • Power Pinoys salvage 7th place in Asian men’s volley club championship
  • Knicks prevent Nets from clinching fifth seed
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Business

  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Hearing set in Olarte case
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Relief worker draws inspiration from helping Yolanda victims
  • Philippines says peace pact should hold despite clashes
  • Marketplace