Police gear up for Arroyo’s arraignment on plunder-A A +A
Sunday, October 28, 2012
POLICEMEN have been deployed as early as Sunday to secure the premises of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan in Quezon City, where former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is set to be arraigned on plunder charges on Monday.
Radio reports said bomb disposal units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have been stationed at the Sandiganbayan while some policemen will be tasked to secure the route between the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), where Arroyo is currently detained, and the court.
“The PNP will be on hand to make sure that everything will go well. If there will be pro and anti (Arroyo) protests, the PNP will be there to keep the peace,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over government-run Radyo ng Bayan.
The arraignment is set at 8:30 a.m. as the Sandiganbayan earlier asked reporters and media crew to confirm attendance due to space limitations of the court's first division.
Valte said they will just monitor news about the arraignment, where Arroyo is expected to plead not guilty in connection with the alleged misuse of some P366-million funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Set to be arraigned as well are former PCSO chairman Sergio Valencia and PCSO assistant manager for finance Benigno Aguas, who have since been under police custody.
Last week, the Pampanga lawmaker sought for a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court to further stop the Sandiganbayan from hearing the case.
She also asked the justices to junk the resolution of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan dated October 3, 2012, which was the basis for the issuance of the arrest warrant weeks ago.
Arroyo’s participation in the allocation of funds, her lawyers pointed out, was just limited to merely approving it. (Virgil Lopez/Jill Beltran/Sunnex)