Ex-First Gentleman evaded plunder case
The Supreme Court cited insufficiency of evidence in dismissing the plunder charges against former President Gloria.
There was really no sufficient evidence that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo benefited from the P366-million illegal diversion of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence fund.
GMA didn’t benefit from the fund diversion at all, according to a very, very reliable source.
The vindictive President Noynoy Aquino had the plunder charges filed against Gloria out of spite for her supposed order apportioning his family’s Hacienda Luisita among its tenant-farmers.
Former first gentleman (FG) Mike Arroyo should have been the one charged, instead of Gloria, as it was he who ordered the money withdrawn for his—not Gloria’s—personal benefit.
Gloria had no knowledge of the illegal fund diversion, according to the same source.
Ex-FG Mike allegedly conspired with Rosario Uriarte, then PCSO general manager, in withdrawing P366 million from the PCSO intelligence fund.
Uriarte couldn’t say no to Mike Arroyo as the latter was her benefactor.
Ex-FG Mike and Uriarte were the ones responsible for the fund diversion and no other, said my source.
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My source said that when GMA asked the ex-FG where the P366 million ended up, Mike Arroyo couldn’t answer.
My source is a close family friend of the Arroyos.
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Before the father-and-son duo of former Vice President Jojo and ex-Makati Mayor Junjun rejoice over their evasion of plunder charges, they should be told that the Office of the Ombudsman is still gathering more evidence against them.
For now, charges of graft, malversation of public funds and falsification of public documents suffice until more evidence is collected to merit the filing of a plunder case, according to an Ombudsman lawyer.
Plunder is a nonbailable offense, so if the Binays are charged with it they stay in jail for the duration of their trial.
The Office of the Ombudsman is investigating other irregularities committed by the Binays while they were mayor of Makati.
- The alleged overprice of the construction of the so-called Friendship Suites which were used as free lodging of officials from local government units which have sister-city agreements with Makati.
- The alleged overprice of the P400-million construction of Makati Science High School building.
- The alleged outright theft of P1 billion for the construction of the Ospital ng Makati annex on Malugay Street. There is only a shell of a building but the contractor allegedly asked for and was paid P1 billion.
- The construction of the Nursing Building within the University of Makati campus, which was allegedly overpriced by P500 million.
Former Vice Mayor Nestor Mercado, who testified in a Senate hearing, said money in duffel bags was always sent to the Binay home by then City Engineer Nelson Morales.
Morales was shot dead while in retirement in Bicol in 2012.