New SC Justice Leonen to handle Arroyo plea vs plunder caseBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—Newly appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen will hand the petition filed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that sought to dismiss the P366-million plunder case filed against her in connection with the mishandling of intelligence funds from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Leonen is the third justice assigned to handle the petition filed by Mrs. Arroyo, now a lawmaker from Pampanga.
Last month, Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta inhibited from handling the case because he is related to a lawyer of one of Arroyo’s co-accused.
Then, the case was assigned to Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe who included the case from those that she has unloaded.
Under Section 10 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, the average caseload of each member of the high court shall be determined by dividing the total number of pending cases of all 15 members by 15. The newly appointed member shall inherit the caseload of the member being replaced and to make equal the number of cases being handled by each member, there will be an unloading of cases by the more senior justices.
At the same time, the high court has consolidated the petitions filed by Arroyo to similar petitions filed by her co accused The high court decided to consolidate the petitions of Arroyo, Raymundo Roquero, and another accused, Nilda Plaras.