Thursday, July 21, 2016

Police officers: Ex-President Arroyo 'vindicated'
By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY, July 20 (PNA) -- A police official at the Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) based in Camp Simeon Ola in this city, said former President and Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) was “vindicated” by the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit her of the plunder charges against her over the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds.

“The Supreme Court has decided based on the merit of the case," said Police Chief Insp. Gilbert Remo, acting public informattion officer of PRO5.

Remo said the case did not prosper “maybe because there is no sufficient evidence against her and maybe the former president was firm (in her belief) that she will be acquitted.”

He said the former president even denied the presidential pardon offered her by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“It is her right to ‘enjoy’ the verdict because she has suffered during her almost four years of hospital arrest that denied her rights, especially the medical attention she needed,” said Remo.

But he said the rumors on the alleged “political decision,” referring to the 11-4 ruling of the Supreme Court, could not be dismissed soon.

He said the 11 justices who favored GMA were her appointees during her term while the four who voted against her were appointed justices during the term of former President Benigno Aquino Jr.

PRO5 Spokesperson Senior Insp. Ma. Luisa Calubaquib said the ruling would mean Macapagal-Arroyo is “now free” and can now fully attend to her sickness and duties as representative of her district in Pampanga.

The 69-year-old former president, held for nearly four years at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City, is suffering from ailments resulting from a spinal problem.

Calubaquib is also hopeful Mrs. Arroyo will have more have time to push for the approval of her proposed bill to increase the salary of members of the Philippine National Police. (PNA) LAP/GVR/JH/CBD