Palace to Alan: Why should Duterte free Arroyo when you were against her?
PERHAPS Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano should explain to the people why his running mate, Davao City Rodrigo Duterte, is keen on releasing former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who is detained on plunder charges and was the subject of a corruption probe by Cayetano himself during the previous administration.
“Perhaps it is best to ask Sen. Alan Cayetano to interpret Duterte’s new statement. It’s interesting that Senator Cayetano tangled with GMA and the First Gentleman (Jose Miguel Arroyo) when he was investigating the latter in the Senate,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Monday.
Duterte earlier told supporters in San Fernando City in Pampanga he would have
Arroyo freed from hospital detention where she has been since 2011, first on electoral fraud charges and then for plunder.
Lack of evidence
Arroyo, who is on her second term as Pampanga representative and appears headed for a third and last campaign, has argued that her detention is illegal due to lack of evidence to prove the charges.
She has also sought house detention for humanitarian reasons, saying her neck and spinal condition had worsened after being cooped up too long.
Previously, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. questioned how Duterte could have Arroyo released if he became president, since “under existing laws, only the courts have jurisdiction and authority to rule on the status of an accused, including petitions for bail.”
Misplaced sense of justice
Lacierda criticized Duterte for engaging in hyperbole and having a misplaced sense of justice.
“Of the 1,700 people Duterte claimed he killed, he executed them without due process. Of the big fishes, he released them summarily with one press statement. That is Duterte justice for you,” said Lacierda in a text message to reporters.
Duterte is running for president under the PDP-Laban mainly on an anticrime platform. The administration presidential candidate is former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas who is running neck and neck with Duterte and Vice President Jojo Binay in the latest polls.
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