- With the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the plunder case filed against former President Arroyo, Senator De Lima was disappointed over the decision
- On the other hand, senators such as Pimentel, Lacson, and Escudero chose to respect the verdict of the High Court and stated that Arroyo had suffered enough
- De Lima noted that the decision was not unanimous and further questioned the timing of the issue of the ruling
Former Justice Secretary and newly-elected Senator Leila De Lima was disappointed with the verdict of the Supreme Court on the plunder case filed against Arroyo in 2012.
The Ombudsman filed a P366 million plunder suit against the former president in relation to the alleged misuse of the intelligence funds of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) when her administration was on its latter years.
(photo credit: philippinechronicle.com)
Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court, with an 11-4 voting, granted the petition of Arroyo and reversed the two resolutions of the Sandiganbayan that denied her plea for demurrer to evidence. This grant will mean the release of Arroyo from hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) where she was detained for almost 4 years due to the plunder charge.
Moreover, the grant for demurrer plea will be equivalent to Arroyo’s acquittal, it being a ruling on the evidence against her.
De Lima emphasized that the decision on the High Court’s ruling was unanimous. The senator was also skeptical on the timing of the decision, stating that it was issued when Duterte became the president.
With her disapproval of the SC ruling, De Lima said that she is going to read more on the dissenting opinions of the SC justices.
(photo credit: inquirer.net)
"Respeto na lang. I will have to respect the decision of a co-equal branch," said Senator Koko Pimentel who chose to respect the ruling of the court. He pointed out that those who are co-accused of Arroyo were already freed.
(We should just respect. I will have to respect the decision of a co-equal branch.)
Pimentel suggested that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre show the 'batting average' of prosecutors on their cases filed before courts so that if the average is low then Aguirre will have to review the processes. The suggestion was welcomed by De Lima who once headed the Department of Justice.
Another senator who backed the SC ruling was Senator Panfilo Lacson despite of the numerous political attacks against him during the Arroyo administration.
(photo credit: inquirer.net)
“[Arroyo] has suffered enough, having spent six years in detention under an extremely difficult physical condition. Even for purely humanitarian consideration, I support the Supreme Court's ruling to free her and accord her some comfort for the remaining years of her life, which are not really that many, considering her age,” Lacson said.
Senator Francis Escudero also expressed his respect on the decision of the Supreme Court. He also stated that the current administration has no control over the independence of the Court. - Kami Media