The Supreme Court en banc released their decision on the plunder case against Macapagal-Arroyo regarding her alleged misappropriation of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) P366 million intelligence funds due to lack of evidence on Tuesday.
The high court voted 11-4 to Arroyo’s petition to reverse Sandiganbayan First Divisions resolutions dated April 6, 2015 and September 10, 2015 citing “insufficiency of evidence” . This ruling granted Arroyo’s acquittal after six years and ordered her release from Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) where she has under hospital arrest since October 2012.
Ferdinand Topacio, the legal spokesman of former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo said, “Its ruling today has validated what we have been saying for six years now: that the charges against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are nothing more than disingenuous attempts at political persecution by a corrupt and inept Aquino administration intent on covering up its gross lack of accomplishments by harassing its political opponents.”
Atty. Estelito Mendoza, the Macapagal-Arroyo’s legal counsel said that the former president is “very happy and feels vindicated.”
Mendoza mentioned in an interview with ANC that the decision was not released earlier by the SC for fear that former President Aquino will feel slighted. He further dismissed rumors that President Rodrigo Duterte had helped reverse the SC’s decision “because that case was ripe for decision even before President Duterte became President.”
Once the Supreme Courts decision will be released to the Sandiganbayan, the former president Macapagal-Arroyo may roam free, with or without her neck brace.