General & Misc

SC asserts Independence over GMA quip on Acquittal from Plunder

Date: 10 July 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Philippines News Agency

MANILA, Jul 10 (PNA) - A Supreme Court (SC) official on Wednesday said the court acted independently in acquitting former President and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on plunder charges filed against her two years ago.

"I have not spoken to the Chief Justice (Lucas Bersamin) about the comments of former President and Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on her acquittal. However, the public can be assured that the Supreme Court has and will always act independently, and free from influence from the other branches of Government," SC spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka told newsmen.

Arroyo, who bows out of office having completed her final term as congressman during a testimonial dinner for her on Tuesday thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for her acquittal by the SC in 2016 on the plunder raps filed against her by the Aquino administration in connection with the alleged misuse of PHP366 million intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) during her term as President.

Voting 11-4, the High Court in July 2016 voted to acquit the former president from plunder charges and affirmed the ruling in April 2017.

Hosaka, however, asserted that "the Supreme Court is guided by the rule of law and its decisions are always based on facts, laws, and reason.

"The decisions of the Supreme Court are open to the public, and we encourage those concerned to read them so they can understand the reasons why they were decided that way," he noted.

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