Aquino rules out pardon for Arroyo if convictedBy Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III has ruled out any pardon for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo if she is found guilty of the corruption and other charges filed against her.
Aquino made the declaration in an interview with CNN correspondent Anna Coren that was aired over the news channel late Friday afternoon in the Philippines.
“I think my constituents would not agree with my pardoning her, and I act only on their wishes,” the President answered when he was asked if he would pardon Arroyo in the same manner that she pardoned her predecessor, Joseph Estrada.
Arroyo is facing the non-bailable charge of electoral sabotage before a Pasay City court and corruption charges in the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.
The electoral sabotage charge is in connection with the alleged rigging of the elections in 2007 to favor her senatorial candidates while the corruption charges stem from the bribery and overpricing scandal surrounding the P16-billion NBN-ZTE deal that was subsequently rescinded.
“We believe the cases we filed are proper and are well-evidenced,” Aquino said. He said the administration went to court expecting a conviction.
Aquino also touched on his views on the administration’s responsible parenthood bill now pending in Congress and the issue of the Marcoses.
Asked if the dictator Marcos ruined the Philippines, Aquino said, “Yes.”
Marcos has been blamed for the poverty in the country as well as alleged human rights violations during his rule that lasted from 1965 to 1986, the last 14 under martial law or one-man rule.
Aquino said he would not allow Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
He said he would not allow it even if cases are filed against him or even if he’s impeached in connection with the decision.