Arroyo wants plunder charges dismissed
Former president, now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo went to the Department of Justice (DoJ) to seek the dismissal of the P500 million plunder case filed against her by former Solicitor-General Francisco Chavez, a report on 990AM said Friday.
In an interview, Arroyo’s lawyer Benjamin Santos said their counter-affidavit contained two points.
First, the case should be dismissed because a similar one that has was filed with the Office of the Ombudsman was dismissed.
He said that the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction and has acted on the case.
“Once the Ombudsman has acted on a case, it can no longer be reviewed by the DoJ…This has no more legal procedural basis,” Santos said.
“This is to avoid the situation where the Ombudsman and the DoJ will be coming up with conflicting decision, the purpose here is for the orderly administration of justice,” he said.
A second point is that the complaint has no basis, Santos said.
Arroyo, together with former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) and OWWA Administrator Virgilio Angelo have been accused of plunder, Qualified Theft, violation of the Omnibus Election Code, and Republic Acts 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees) and 3019 or the Anti-Graft Law by Chavez before the DoJ last April.
Chavez, in his complaint, said Arroyo approved the diversion of some P533,082,446 OWWA Medicare Fund to the PHIC as recommended by Duque.
Based on the draft Executive Order which was attached by Chavez to the complaint, the purpose of the diversion of funds was to have “significant bearing in the 2004 elections” when Arroyo ran for president.
That same draft EO stated that it would also be significant to “President’s desire to provide health insurance to 8-million indigents by end of 2003.”
The DoJ will conduct a preliminary investigation first on the complaint filed by Chavez to determine if there is sufficient ground for a case in court and hold a trial for the the respondents.
Original posted: 8:57 am | Friday, July 22nd, 2011
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