Without conviction Gloria Arroyo will remain in Congress, says GonzalesBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines—As long as she’s not convicted for her charges of plunder and electoral sabotage, former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will remain a member of the House of Representatives and may even run for public office come the 2013 midterm elections.
This was what House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II said during a media forum on Tuesday, pointing out that Arroyo cannot be taken off their roster until she is convicted for the cases lodged against her.
Also, since the crimes allegedly committed by Arroyo supposedly happened before she became part of the House, Gonzales said that she may be taken out when the final judgement on her charges indicate that the former president be penalized by “perpetual and absolute disqualification from public office.”
Pending such a judgment on the two cases, the lawmaker said that Arroyo may seek a second term as a Pampanga solon and is “free to run” for public office.
Asked to comment on the justice system in relation to Arroyo’s cases, he said that the length of time it took to charge the former president showed a slow process, although he said that replies, motions for reconsideration, and rejoinders.
Arroyo is presently under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center on charges of electoral sabotage.
She was charged with plunder by the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday for the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office intelligence funds.