Arroyo walks free after 4 yrs of hospital detention
Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo left Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City on Thursday evening after four years of hospital detention.
Her lawyer Lawrence Arroyo said the former President’s convoy left VMMC at around 6:25 p.m.
The lawyer said Arroyo will go straight to her home in La Vista subdivision before proceeding for a checkup to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City, where she will spend the night.
This was after the Sandiganbayan ordered her release in deference to the Supreme Court’s decision acquitting her of plunder charges over alleged misuse of state lottery funds.
In an 11-4 vote, the high tribunal granted Arroyo’s petition seeking the dismissal of her remaining plunder case before the Sandiganbayan for the alleged misuse of P366 million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Supporters and members of the media have been awaiting Arroyo’s release from the VMMC since Tuesday’s announcement of the decision, which was delayed pending the release of the order to the Sandiganbayan.
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 over the alleged PCSO fund mess.
In its decision, the SC said Arroyo’s “unqualified OK” on the release of PCSO intelligence funds could not be considered an overt act of plunder.
Apart from Arroyo, her coaccused PCSO officer Benigno Aguas was also ordered released. With a report from Maricar Brizuela/rga
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