Ombudsman won’t dismiss or upgrade raps vs Arroyo | Inquirer News

Ombudsman won’t dismiss or upgrade raps vs Arroyo

/ 04:13 AM March 08, 2012

Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

The Office of the Ombudsman has rejected a petition from militants to upgrade to plunder the graft charges against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and several others in connection with the canceled National Broadband Network contract with China’s ZTE Corp., but also denied the motions of Arroyo’s co-accused seeking the dismissal of the criminal cases against them.

With these rulings, the cases against Arroyo and her co-accused are expected to move forward in the Sandiganbayan 4th Division, to where these were earlier raffled off.


The antigraft court is expected to review the charges to determine probable cause, which is necessary for the issuance of arrest warrants against the accused.


The court earlier held in abeyance the determination of probable cause in the criminal charges against Arroyo and her co-accused, and directed the prosecution to complete first the preliminary investigation of the case. This entailed allowing the accused to file motions for reconsideration on the indictments against them.

These motions for reconsideration have already been resolved, the Ombudsman Special Prosecutor informed the court Wednesday.

2 counts of graft

Arroyo has been charged with two counts of graft and one count of violation of the code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees in connection with the approval of the NBN contract with the China-based ZTE Corp. The so-called NBN-ZTE deal was later canceled amid allegations of bribery and overpricing.

Her co-accused in one of the graft cases are her spouse Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, former elections chief Benjamin Abalos and former Transportation and Communication Secretary Leandro Mendoza.

The Ombudsman, in a memorandum approved March 5, denied the motions for reconsideration filed by Mendoza and Mike Arroyo seeking the dismissal of the charges against them.


Arroyo and Abalos did not file any motion for reconsideration against their indictment.

In dismissing the motions for reconsideration, the Ombudsman said the cancellation of the NBN-ZTE  contract after its perfection and prior to the filing of the charges before the court do not absolve anyone from liability.

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It said the cancellation in 2007 “was made in bad faith and cannot be used by the accused to their advantage.”

TAGS: Government, Judiciary, Plunder, Politics, ZTE Broadband

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