- On July 19, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was acquitted from charges of plunder
- Supreme Court Justice Marci Leonen accuses his fellow justices of being blind to the law
- The Supreme Court annulled the criminal charges against Arroyo on the grounds of being weak and lacking evidence
After former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was acquitted of plunder, Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen blamed his fellow justices for failing to appreciate the provided evidence against Arroyo.
In his dissenting opinion, the magistrate said, ‘If any, what the majority reveals as insufficient may be the ability of the judiciary to correctly interpret the evidence with the wisdom provided by the intention of our laws on plunder and the desire of the sovereign through a Constitution that requires from public officers a high degree of fidelity to public trust.’
He further said that the rule of law should not be diminished through interpretation but rather be interpreted as what it is supposed to be.
‘We diminish the rule of law when we deploy legal interpretation to obfuscate rather than to call out what is obvious,’ Leonen added.
The Supreme Court justice argued that Arroyo could not plead naiveté because she knew about the transfer of money. The P366 million were only moved as additional Confidential and Intelligence Fund (CIF) from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) after the former President approved the release requests.
‘She bypassed layers of supervision over the PCSO. The approvals were in increasing amounts and each one violating established financial controls. The former President cannot plead naivete. She was intelligent and was experienced,’ he said. ‘The scheme is plain except to those who refuse to see.’
The former President was charged with misusing funds in the state-run PCSO.
Voting 11-4 on July 19, 2016, the Supreme Court acquitted Arroyo of charges of plunder, stating that the case was weak and lacked evidence.
She was then immediately released from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
Arroyo is currently the Pampanga representative and is now confirmed to be going to stay at her home at La Vista.
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President Rodrigo Duterte supported the release of Gloria Arroyo. - Kami Media