Ombud to resolve Arroyo appeal on plunder case this month-A A +A
By Max Sangil
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
THE Office of the Ombudsman is set to resolve this month the appeal of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on her plunder case stemming from the alleged misuse of P366 million in intelligence funds.
"The resolution should be out anytime now. Before the end of the month, hopefully," Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales told reporters on the sidelines of the House plenary session on the proposed 2013 budget of her agency.
Two months ago, the Sandiganbayan deferred its hearing on the plunder case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against Arroyo.
The anti-graft court said the Ombudsman still has to respond to Arroyo's motion for reconsideration, stressing that "the filing of a motion for consideration is an integral part of the preliminary investigation proper."
The plunder case stemmed from the alleged misuse of P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds during the latter years of the Arroyo administration.
Also named respondents to the case are former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte; former PCSO board chairperson Sergio Valencia; former PCSO board members Manuel Morato, Jose Taruc, Raymundo Roquero and Ma. Fatima Valdes; and former PCSO budget officer Benigno Aguas.
Former Commission on Audit (COA) chairperson Reynaldo Villar and former COA intelligence officer Milda Plara were also named in the charge sheet.
Arroyo is also facing graft charges over her alleged involvement in the botched $329 million national broadband network (NBN) deal with China's ZTE Corp.
Arroyo is out on provisional liberty after she was granted by a Pasay City court to post bail over a separate electoral sabotage case in connection with the 2007 midterm polls.
Morales said she is "very confident" that Arroyo will be jailed for the charges filed against her before the Sandiganbayan.
"I am confident. I am not going to file a case just for the heck of filing. When I file a case, I believe that there's probable cause," she added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)