Arroyo on acquittal: Justice, righteousness prevailed
Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court decision that acquitted her of plunder charges and urged the public to “keep the faith in the justice system.”
“First and foremost, to God Almighty be all the glory and praise. Through His kindness and mercy, justice and righteousness have once again prevailed over injustice and wrongdoing,” Arroyo said in a statement.
“With the High Tribunal rendering a final decision on this unfortunate episode, I sincerely hope that everyone will respect and recognize the truth that has been established,” she added.
In an 11-4 vote, the high tribunal granted Arroyo’s petition seeking the dismissal of her remaining plunder case at the Sandiganbayan for the alleged misuse of the P366-million Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) fund.
Arroyo also lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for “allowing due process to take its course totally unhampered.”
“I also extend my heartfelt appreciation to His Excellency, President Rodrigo Duterte, and to the honorable members of the Supreme Court,” she said.
In the campaign trail, Duterte promised he would release Arroyo from detention if elected President due to weak evidence. Duterte said the former President declined his offer of pardon.
Arroyo was arrested in 2011 on electoral fraud charges in connection with the 2007 elections but was allowed bail in 2012. But before she could be freed, the Sandiganbayan ordered her arrest on charges of plunder involving alleged misuse of P366 million in intelligence funds of the PCSO when she was President.
Arroyo thanked the “Court for finally stopping the persecution [she] had unjustly gone through for the last five years,” and her supporters for their prayers and “immeasurable help in keeping her faith and conviction that truth and justice will ultimately prevail.”
“It is my fervent hope that nobody else will suffer the persecution that had been levied on me through self-serving interpretation and implementation of the law. And that the disregard of truth for which I was made to suffer be dealt with accordingly at the soonest possible time,” she added. CDG/rga
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