Arroyo allies expect high court to throw out electoral sabotage case
MANILA, Philippines—Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her lawyers are certain the Supreme Court will dismiss the electoral sabotage case against her early next year.
But they also believe that Malacañang will make sure she will remain under arrest by rushing the filing of other cases, such as diversion of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds, the fertilizer fund scam and the national broadband network-ZTE deal, soon.
Those claims were made by Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, who said that Arroyo and her lawyers met on the eve of her hospital transfer to plot her legal strategy.
“She’s well aware of her situation and the administration’s determination to pin her down. But she’s prepared to fight back,” said Suarez in an interview.
Suarez said that the administration has no evidence against Arroyo, which was why it took one-and-a-half years before it was able to have her arrested on what he said described as a flimsy charge.
“The electoral sabotage case is based on the testimony one man and the prosecution provides no document proof. You don’t need to be a lawyer to see the SC will let her go,” said Suarez.
Suarez said the “witch hunt” could continue as long as there were cases against Arroyo, but he was confident the former President would eventually be set free.
Even Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares conceded that unless a prime witness came out to testify against Arroyo, such as former Election Commissioner Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano, it would be tough to get a conviction with the Supreme Court dominated by Arroyo appointees.
Colmenaras noted that after the “Hello Garci” election cheating scandal broke out in 2005, Arroyo created an “inner circle” of loyal allies to protect her from legal suits.
“So unless one of her trusted friends, like former PCSO General Manager Rosario Uriarte, testifies we might not have a conviction,” said Colmenares.
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