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Arroyo bail denied anew

/ 12:41 PM February 20, 2014

Sandiganbayan building facade. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Sandiganbayan on Thursday denied another bid of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to post bail on her plunder case for allegedly funnelling money from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) confidential fund for over three years during her presidency.

In a 12-page ruling, the anti-graft court’s first division denied the second bail petition for lack of merit.

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It was the second bail petition filed by Arroyo.

The second motion for bail is appealing for humanitarian consideration considering the health condition of Mrs. Arroyo.

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Arroyo, now Pampanga representative, is currently under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC).

Arroyo, through counsels Jose B. Flaminiano, Laurence Hector B. Arroyo and Aufelene Anne P. Laxamana, submitted an eight-page supplemental motion for reconsideration to convince the antigraft court’s First Division to reverse its previous ruling denying her bail petition.

Arroyo’s lawyers said the former president is seriously ill, but she will not evade the plunder charges against her.

They cited a 1953 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Montano vs. Ocampo that said bail may be granted even in a capital offense and regardless of a finding that evidence of guilt is strong.

Arroyo is also facing an electoral sabotage case in connection with the 2007 midterm elections. The former President also faces separate graft cases before the Sandiganbayan for the botched NBN-ZTE deal during her presidency.

Most recent, the former president faces before the Office of the Ombudsman another plunder charge with 21 others in connection with the alleged misuse of P900 million in royalties from the Malampaya gas fund intended for storm victims but instead were converted to kickbacks.

Arroyo is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

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TAGS: bail, electoral sabotage, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Malampaya, NBN-ZTE Deal, PCSO, Sandiganbayan
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