Ombudsman files graft charges vs Arroyo; to be raffled Jan.2


The graft charges filed by the Ombudsman against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo before the Sandiganbayan will be raffled off next week.
“The Office of the Ombudsman has requested a special raffle today but it was disapproved by the presiding judge. Instead, it was rescheduled for January 2, Monday,” said Sandiganbayan spokesperson Renato Bocar.

The case stems from the graft complaint filed by Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño in connection with the National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with China’s ZTE Corporation.

“There were 3 criminal information which were filed against the former president. One was for violation of Section 3-G of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. This is for entering into a contract, the NBN-ZTE contract, which is manifestly disadvantageous to the government of the Philippines,” Bocar said.

“The second case is having interest for personal gain in a contract which will pass through her office as President of the Philippines; and, the third one, for accepting gifts or benefits from the ZTE Corporation in the form of playing golf and lunch in China in connection with the pending ZTE contract,” he added.

Also charged were former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos, and former Transportation and Communication Secretary Leandro Mendoza.

“It’s only in the first case where there are other accused. In the other 2 cases, it’s only the former president is accused here,” he said.

Bocar explained the graft charges in this particular case are all bailable.

The former president is currently under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center for an electoral sabotage case filed against her last month.

“These new offenses which were filed against the former president are all bailable. I don’t know if the accused, the former president, would post bail because she is under detention under a non-bailable offense [electoral sabotage],” he said.

Bocar said it is not necessary for Arroyo to post bail while still under detention.

“But if she files a petition for bail under the electoral sabotage case and there is that possibility however remote, if it is granted, then she would be set free under that charge. So she also has to post bail under the case filed with the Sandiganbayan para makalaya din siya,” he said.

Bocar added that the Sandiganbayan will coordinate with the Pasay Regional Trial Court handling Arroyo’s electoral sabotage case to ensure that no conflict will arise from the hearing schedules of both cases.

The NBN-ZTE deal, which was intended to provide a broadband network for the government, was scrapped in 2007 by Mrs. Arroyo herself due to allegations of overpricing and bribery.

December 29, 2011 2:20 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Gloria Arroyo and family, Graft and corruption, NBN/ZTE

406 Responses

  1. chijap - December 29, 2011 2:42 pm

    ’bout time.

  2. hilman - December 29, 2011 4:06 pm

    HAPPY NEW YEAR ! ! !

  3. MPRivera - December 29, 2011 6:16 pm

    baka naman puro porma lang ‘yan?

    kung mag-ay em syorhi uli ang babaeng ‘yan, hindi kaya case dropped kaagad?

    magpakatino na kayo’t alalahaning hindi karaniwang hayup ‘yang babaeng ‘yan kahit ganyan lang kaliit. ‘wag ninyong kalilimutang grabe ang salantang inabot ng bansa natin sa loob ng mahigit siyam na taon niyang pananalasang daig pa ang tinamaan ng salot ang buong sangkapinuyan.

    kaya sa sunod, huwag na huwag na kayong magtitiwala sa kaninumang babaeng pulitikong kasinliit ng huditang ‘yan dahil kung anong liit sa tingin ninyo ay siya namang kawalang kabusugan kapag lumamon!

  4. saxnviolins - December 29, 2011 8:08 pm

    The Sandigan is swarming with Glue men. If the President wants a fair trial, he can do a Marcos – with the help of the Congress.

    Marcos swept away the justices in the Court of Appeals by abolishing it. He replaced it with the Intermediate Appellate Court. Same banana, different name, with a few cosmetic changes in the law. So all justices were out of office, because the office was abolished. Marcos reappointed many, but not all. He achieved a free hand in reforming the Court.

    Congress can abolish the Sandigan, and create a new graft trial court, to try graft and corruption cases triable by the Sandigan. The appellate jurisdiction of the Sandigan will be decided by the Court of Appeals. I really do not agree with the stupidity of a hybrid court, that is a trial court for some officials (President, etc.) and an appellate court (appeal from the RTC) for lowly government employees.

    In fact, since much of the corruption actually occurs at the Court of Appeals (remember Sabio? Involved din si Bienvenido Reyes diyan di ba?), Noy can do a Marcos and restructure the Court of Appeals as well. Ibalik sa Intermediate Appellate Court (pronounced iyak. Kaya daw iyak ng iyak ang mga justices).

    What is the source law? Batas Pambansa 129

  5. Ellen - December 29, 2011 10:40 pm

    Matingnan nga ang BP 129.

  6. duane - December 30, 2011 12:01 am

    Therefore, a new law abolishing the present CA set-up has to be enacted by Congress to weed-out the corrupt CA justices?

  7. Manresa - December 30, 2011 7:32 am

    I dissent to Sax view. Congress cannot abolish Sandiganbayan. Sandiganbyan is a constitutionally-mandated court. Albeit its creation was by statutory enactment, it owes its creation and existence to the Constitution. Therefore, this court cannot be legislated out of existence.

  8. saxnviolins - December 30, 2011 7:27 pm

    Did you mean this section?

    Section 4. The present anti-graft court known as the Sandiganbayan shall continue to function and exercise its jurisdiction as now or hereafter may be provided by law.

    as may be provided by law gives the Congress the discretion to do as it pleases.

    The Sandigan was created before the Constitution. The Constitution only acknowledges its existence.

  9. saxnviolins - December 30, 2011 7:30 pm

    While they are at it, the Congress can also recreate the Monetary Board.

    Goodbye Toting Bunye.

    In fact, they can recreate most of the offices where there are midnight appointments – PNOC, etc.

  10. Manachito - December 30, 2011 9:02 pm

    Speaking of Leandro Mendoza, I wonder if they have anything on Ermita, Bunye and “Corneta” (Horn)? It would be great to see all the other gang members of “La señora torcida y el gran cerdo (the crooked madam and big pig)get indicted. Nine years they lived high on the hog — spending people’s money. Pay-back is a mother!

  11. Manresa - December 31, 2011 5:16 am

    Reply to Sax (Post No. 8)

    You said “the Sandiganbayan was created before the Constitution”. Not true. The 1973 Constitution commanded Congress to create the Sandiganbayan as a special court. The Sandiganbayan owes its very existence to the 1973 Constitution. Marcos, in the exercise of his legislative power by virtue of Amendment No. 6, created the Sandiganbayan in 1978. The Sandiganbayan was therefore created almost 5 years after the ratification of the 1973 Constitution.

    Cory retained the Sandiganbayan under the Freedom Constitution of 1986. So did the framers of the 1987 Constitution, to wit :

    “SEC. 4. The present anti-graft court known as the Sandiganbayan shall continue to function and exercise its jurisdiction as now or hereafter may be provided by law.”

    The 1987 Constitution commands that the Sandiganbayan shall continue to function. The clear intent is to maintain this special court as an instrument of public accountability. Abolishing the Sandiganbayan will contravene the desire of the 1987 Constitution.

    To my mind, the import of the phrase “as now or hereafter provided by law” is:

    1. as now provided by law (this refers to PD 1486 that created the Sandiganbayan + 9 amendments issued by Marcos and 3 amendments made by Cory.

    2. as hereafter may be provided by law (this refers to future laws to further strengthen the structural and functional organization of the Sandiganbayan as Cory’s EO 184 in 1987, RA 7976 in 1995 and RA 8249 in 1997. This phrase does not give Congress the discretion to unmake or abolish the Sandiganbayan.

    The Sandiganbayan is special court provided for in the constitution. It is therefore a constitutionally-mandated court. Its existence is provided for in the constitution. If Congress elects to abolish it, the people have to amend first Section 4, Art. 16 of the 1987 Constitution. The command of the Constitution to Congress is clear – create a Sandiganbayan and keep it continuously functional.

    Assuming, for the sake of argument, that Congress may abolish Sandiganbayan, the abolition of a judicial office could be challenged on constitutional ground since the 1987 Constitution prohibits the enactment of law reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its members. Abolition of judicial office will be unconstitutional when done for political and personal reasons so said the Supreme Court in a long line of cases.

  12. saxnviolins - December 31, 2011 6:05 am

    Have it your way.

    Batas Pambansa 129 was actually challenged, and upheld by the Supreme Court. Only Teehankee dissented. Abad Santos, Melencio-Herrera, Plana, and Guerrero concurred.

    Guerrero pointed out that there is no absolute right to hold office. The only exception is a constitutionally created office, like the COMELEC, etc.

  13. saxnviolins - December 31, 2011 6:34 am

    Forgot to provide the link:

    Lagyan ng tatlong w sa harap.

  14. chi - December 31, 2011 9:52 pm

    Aba, dami pala magagawa ang BP 129. Dapat malaman ito ng legal team ni Pnoy kesa sa nangangapa sila palagi ng rason sa tanggalan blues!

  15. MPRivera - January 1, 2012 6:05 pm

    siguro naman kung ang apektado ang kapakanan ng buong sambayanan AY maaaring “baklasin” at i-reorganize ang alinmang korte sa pamamagitan ng pag-aamyendang ihahain ng taong bayan.

    ano pa ang silbi ng kapangyarihan ng taong bayan bilang sandigan ng lahat ng kapangyarihan ng gobyerno kung hindi mamamayani ang ayon sa batas ay para sa kapakanan ng tao?

  16. benjpedro - January 2, 2012 6:25 am

    Does this mean that even if the offense is bailable:

    1. Dapat maaresto muna at ma-book si Mike Arroyo
    2. Makulong
    3. Samantalang makalaya pagbayad ng bail?

    Kahit man lang 1 horas lang si Mike Arroyo sa kulungan para masaya ang bagong taon.

    Pakisagot lamang po ng mga lawyers.

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