Arroyo foe outraged by release; blames Aquino administration for rushing ‘weak’ caseBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) was angered by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s release from hospital arrest and blamed the Aquino administration for rushing a “weak” electoral sabotage case against her.
“We condemn the granting of bail to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA), criminal mastermind of election fraud in 2007, as well as the election prior to that,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr said in a statement Wednesday.
“While we are definitely upset at this development, we are not surprised. This may well have been the result of the rushed case filed in November last year to prevent [Arroyo] from leaving the country as the Supreme Court upheld its restraining order on the Department of Justice travel ban,” Reyes said.
“The Aquino [administration] should explain why the rushed case filed before the Pasay Regional Trial Court was apparently weak, thus enabling [Arroyo] to be granted bail,” Reyes said.
The Commission on Elections and the Department of Justice filed charges of electoral sabotage against Arroyo in the Pasay Regional Trial Court and the case was raffled to Judge Jesus Mupas. Mupas would later issue a warrant of arrest for Arroyo, who was then confined at the St. Lukes Medical Center for a bone ailment.
“The granting of bail to [Arroyo] underscores the need to file more cases, stronger cases against the former president; ranging from the 2004 election fraud, human rights violations as well as other cases of plunder. That is the only way to make sure she is made truly accountable,” Reyes said.
Arroyo also has cases of plunder, graft, and a case of breach of ethics in the Sandiganbayan for her involvement in the overpriced $329-million National Broadband Network deal with ZTE Corp., a Chinese telecommunications firm.