Arroyo to appeal bail denial | Inquirer News
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Arroyo to appeal bail denial

/ 05:23 AM November 08, 2013

Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: Appeal. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will ask the Sandiganbayan to reconsider its decision denying her bail in the plunder charge against her in connection with the alleged misuse of P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds.

Lawyer Anacleto Diaz said his client planned to file a motion for reconsideration before the antigraft court’s First Division, noting the 3 to 2 vote denying Arroyo’s bail

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petition.

“The resolution was not unanimous, out of the five members, two found no evidence to keep her in detention,” Diaz said.

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In denying Arroyo’s petition for bail, the Sandiganbayan cited “a great presumption of guilt on the accused.” The former president remains under hospital arrest at Veterans Memorial Medical Center.

Arroyo’s lawyer questioned the court’s finding of “implicit or implied conspiracy” when the “very core of that conspiracy”—the members of the PCSO board who had power over how the funds were to be used—were all granted bail by the court on the grounds that there was no strong evidence against them.

“Why do they have a different ruling on the former president?” Diaz asked.

The antigraft court in June granted the bail petitions of Arroyo’s three co-accused in the case—former PCSO Chair Sergio Valencia and former PCSO Directors Manuel Morato and Raymundo Roquero—saying the evidence presented against them did not show proof of their guilt.

Diaz said the court made assumptions that were not part of the evidence presented during the bail hearing.

“The resolution drew inference upon inference and cited evidence not presented by the prosecution to claim that the monies withdrawn by Uriarte [former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte, another co-accused] were brought to the Office of the President. A theory was supplied which the prosecution did not allege,” he said.—Cynthia D. Balana

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TAGS: appeal, bail, Gloria Arroyo, plunder charge, Sandiganbayan
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