SC also junks plunder case vs Arroyo co-accused Aguas
The Supreme Court has ordered the dismissal of the plunder case of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s co-accused for the alleged misuse of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds.
Voting 10-5, the high court also granted the demurrer to evidence of PCSO Budget Officer Benigno Aguas.
A demurrer petition is anchored on the ground that there is lack of evidence on the offense charged.
Arroyo and Aguas are the only accused in detention.
Their co-accused PCSO board members Manuel Morato, Raymundo Roquero, Jose Taruc, and former Commission on Audit chair Reynaldo Villar have been released after the Sandiganbayan granted their demurrer to evidence.
They were charged with plunder for allegedly conspiring to divert for personal gain at least P366 million in intelligence funds for the PCSO from 2008 to 2010.
The five who dissented from the majority were Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Estela Perlas Bernabe, Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa. JE/rga
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