2 trials for Arroyo’s 3 casesBy Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will have two trials for her three criminal cases stemming from her approval of the controversial $329 million national broadband network deal with China.
The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division has ruled that it will hold one trial for Arroyo’s NBN graft case where her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo, former elections Chief Benjamin Abalos, and former Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza are her coaccused. Then it will hold another trial to jointly tackle Arroyo’s other NBN graft case for breach of ethics, where she is the lone accused.
The court scheduled the pre-trial conference for Arroyo’s three criminal cases on August 6, and said she was required to personally appear.
During the pretrial conference, Arroyo would be asked to name her witnesses and mark her documentary evidence for her cases.
Arroyo was charged with the two counts of graft and one count of breach of the code of conduct for public officials for her approval of the NBN deal, which was later canceled. The Office of the Ombudsman had said that the deal was overpriced and disadvantageous to the government.
The antigraft court granted Arroyo’s motions for separate trials, which she asked for on the ground that the facts in each of her three cases were different, and a joint trial would just cause confusion and delay.