Ex-PCSO exec refuses to turn witness vs Arroyo-A A +A
Thursday, March 20, 2014
A FELLOW accuse of Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2nd district, Pampanga) in the P366-million plunder case filed before the Sandiganbayan denied that he will testify against the former President.
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) former director Jose Taruc V, who entered a not guilty plea before the anti-graft court's First Division on Thursday, dismissed rumors that he will turn state witness against Arroyo over the alleged misuse of state lottery funds.
"Walang usapang ganun (turning state witness)," Taruc's legal counsel Fabella Tacardon said after his client's arraignment Thursday.
Tacardon submitted his client's bail petition during the proceedings.
Taruc's camp waived the pre-trial conference and sought immediate trial as they adopted the evidence and testimonies presented by defense and vowed not to conduct cross-examinations on the witnesses.
The former PCSO official will also submit counter-affidavit next week.
Last Monday, Taruc turned himself in to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police at Camp Crame in Quezon City to face the charges against him before the Sandiganbayan.
Aside from Arroyo and Taruc, other co-accused in the plunder and malversation cases were former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte, former PCSO chairpersons Sergio Valencia and Manuel Morato; former directors Raymundo Roquero and Ma. Fatima A. S. Valdes; former budget and accounts manager Benigno Aguas; former Commission on Audit chairman Reynaldo Villar and former COA-Intelligence Fund Unit head Nilda Plaras.
They were accused of conspiracy in allegedly defrauding the government of P365,997,915 through unlawful transfer of confidential/intelligence funds of PCSO from January 2008 to June 2010. (Sunnex)