Arroyo faces 7th plunder case

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011


MANILA (Updated 12:06 p.m.) -- Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is facing another plunder case in connection with the alleged misuse of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office's (PCSO) funds during her administration.

PCSO Director Aleta Tolentino told ANC that PCSO officials filed the case Wednesday before the Office of the Ombudsman. It is the seventh plunder case filed against the former leader since her term ended in June 2010.

Also charged in connection with the alleged funds misuse from 2007 to 2010 were former PCSO vice chair and general manager Rosario Uriarte, assistant general manager for finance Benigno Aguas, former PCSO board members Sergio Valencia, Manuel Morato, Raymon Roquero, and Maria Fatima Valdez, Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Reynaldo Villar and COA-Bicol Region head Nilda Plaras.

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Former Akbayan party-list representative Rissa Hontiveros, former military general Danilo Lim and Jimmy Regalario also filed a plunder complaint before the Ombudsman in July against Arroyo and eight others also in connection with the alleged PCSO funds misuse.

The militant congressmen cited the admission of Uriarte in a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing that her request for a P325 million intelligence fund was approved by Arroyo.

Bayan Muna party-list Representatives Teddy Casino and Neri Colmenares also filed in July plunder, graft and malversation charges against Arroyo before the Ombudsman also over the same funds misuse.

The party-list lawmakers believe that the PCSO funds have been used in the 2010 elections to finance the campaign of Arroyo.

Arroyo is now under hospital arrest at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig City after she was charged with electoral sabotage by the Commission on Elections, in connection with the 2007 midterm elections.

The lawmaker has been diagnosed with hypoparathyroidism and mineral bone disorder after undergoing three cervical spine surgeries in October at the St. Luke's Medical Center.

The former President will be transferred to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City by Friday. (Sunnex)

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