Sandiganbayan denies Arroyo’s motion for bail in plunder case
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan First Division on Wednesday denied the bid of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to post bail for her temporary liberty.
Arroyo, now a Pampanga representative, is currently under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC).
She is facing a plunder case for allegedly funnelling money from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s (PCSO) confidential fund for over three years during her presidency.
In denying her petition, the anti-graft court said the prosecution managed to establish a “great presumption of guilt” on the part of the former President and her co-accused former PCSO Assistant General Manager for Finance Benigno Aguas.
“The circumstances proven by the prosecution’s evidence give rise to an inference of guilt drawn there from, which is strong, clear and convincing to an unbiased mind and exclude all reasonable probability of any other conclusion,” the anti-graft court said.
The anti-graft court said, however, that while there is evidence of conspiracy in the scam, the prosecution has yet to prove that Arroyo benefitted from it.
A division of five members was created to rule on Arroyo’s and Aguas’ petition after the first division’s all three justices failed to come up with a majority ruling.
Sandiganbayan first division Justices Rodolfo Ponferrada, Efren de la Cruz, and Rafael Lagos were joined by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Jose Hernandez.
Of the justices, Hernandez and Ponferrada voted to grant the bail petition.
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