TRO on arrest order doesn’t cover Arroyo – SCBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court on Monday again clarified that the ruling it issued stopping the Sandiganbayan resolution from implementing the Oct. 3 resolution ordering the arrest of the accused personalities in the P366-million plunder case does not cover former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
SC spokesperson Gleo Guerra said the high court resolution only covers Commission on Audit (CoA) official Nilda B. Plaras, who filed a petition with the Supreme Court ahead of Arroyo.
“This is to clarify that the October 24, 2012 temporary restraining order issued by the Court’s Third Division in GR Nos. 203693-94, Plaras v. Sandiganbayan, enjoins the implementation of the warrant of arrest against petitioner Nilda B. Plaras as ordered in the assailed resolution of the Sandiganbayan dated October 3, 2012 in Criminal Case No. SB-12-CRM-0174,” Guerra said in a statement.
This is the second clarification made by the high court Monday after texting members of the media this morning saying, “Advisory: The SC PIO will furnish the media, as well as upload today, a copy of the SC TRO on former President GMA’s (Arroyo’s initial) arraignment before the Sandiganbayan on PCSO/plunder case. Fyi. Tnx.”
After clarifying the discrepancy between the text and the resolution, she said the TRO also covers Arroyo since the Oct. 3, 2012 also mentions Plaras and the other accused.
After further pressing for clarification especially since the Sandiganbayan said they have not yet received a copy of the high court resolution, Guerra said they will again verify and made the statement clarifying that Plaras is the only one covered by the TRO.
On the Sandiganbayan Oct. 3 resolution, it finds probable cause to order the arrest not only of Plaras but also of Arroyo and the other accused in the PCSO fund mess including former General Manager Rosario Uriarte; Sergio Valencia, Manuel Morato, Raymundo Roquero, Jose Taruc V and Ma. Fatima Valdes; former COA Chair Reynaldo Villar and PCSO assistant general manager for finance Benigno Aguas for the crime of plunder.
Arroyo, who was arraigned this morning, as well as COA Region V head Nilda Plaras filed a separate petition before the high court stopping the Sandiganbayan from implementing the Oct. 3 resolution.