Gov’t told: Answer Arroyo constituents’ plea to stop plunder trial-A A +A
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
THE Supreme Court (SC) ordered the government Tuesday to comment on the motion filed by constituents of Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seeking to intervene in her petition to stop the trial of her plunder case at the Sandiganbayan.
The Office of the Solicitor General, representing the Sandiganbayan and the Office of the Ombudsman, has to submit its comment within a non-extendible period of 10 days from receipt of the court notice.
The motion to intervene was filed last December 21 by Rico Ocampo, Eugene Paul Ponio, Marcelo Valencia and Joaquin Manalac, all residents of Guagua, Pampanga, which is under the legislative district of Arroyo.
They are likewise seeking the issuance of a temporary restraining order to stop the anti-graft court from proceeding with the plunder trial over Arroyo’s alleged misuse of some P366-million intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
They said they have legal interest in the case because they have been deprived of due representation at the House of Representatives since Arroyo has been on hospital arrest.
“If indeed the evidence against her is weak or without any basis, then her petition questioning the filing of the plunder case against her for the alleged misuse of confidential/intelligence fund of the PCSO should be immediately resolved and granted so that she could devote her time to serving her constituents in her district,” their seven-page petition stated.
The SC, however, still did not act on the main petition filed by Arroyo on October 24 last year.
Arroyo’s petition was just recently consolidated with the petitions filed by other co-accused in the PCSO plunder case.
The case was originally assigned to Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, but he decided to inhibit after learning that one of the counsels for the accused was a relative.
It was later on re-raffled to Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe. However, she decided to unload the case to a junior justice, Marvic Leonen, who has just then been appointed to the High Court by President Benigno Aquino III. (JCV/Sunnex)