Arroyo out on bail in electoral sabotage caseFrom ABS-CBN:
She does not have the last laugh. There’s still the PCSO plunder case. [/caption]Gloria Arroyo leaves VMMC
Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has left the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) Wednesday, eight months after being placed under hospital arrest for electoral sabotage.
Not surprising at all. Click here on the column I wrote last June 3.
Footage taken by ABS-CBN News showed Mrs. Arroyo walking hand in hand with a young boy, presumably her grandson, outside the hospital before boarding a coaster at around 2:30 pm.
Her legal spokesman, Raul Lambino, said the former President will pass by the VMMC chapel before going home at La Vista Subdivision. He said Mrs. Arroyo will seek alternative medical treatment in Tagaytay tomorrow, Thursday.
He said the former President will return to the VMMC every day next week to continue her therapy.
Lambino said there were “tears of joy” when the order for Mrs. Arroyo’s release was finally delivered. “It got quit emotional a while ago when the release order was delivered,” he said.
Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said among those who came to visit Mrs. Arroyo during her release are her daughter, Luli Arroyo, chief of staff Elena Bautista-Horn, Occidental Mindoro Rep. Amelita Villarosa and former congressman Benny Abante.
“She is happy that justice has been done. We’ve always said that this case was weak,” Topacio said.
Mrs. Arroyo’s release came on the same day a Pasay City regional trial court allowed her to post bail of 1 million pesos in the electoral sabotage case against her.
Arroyo, 65, was arrested at an exclusive hospital shortly after immigration authorities blocked her at Manila airport while trying to leave the country in November.
Arroyo was charged with “electoral sabotage”, a crime punishable with life in jail, for allegedly conspiring with a feared political warlord to rig the 2007 senatorial elections.
Her successor, Benigno Aquino, had vowed to have her brought to justice for many acts of corruption he alleged she committed during her nine years in office that ended in 2010.
Arroyo has also been charged with corruption for approving an allegedly graft-tainted contract to set up a national government broadband system as well as siphoning off $8 million in state lottery funds. With Agence France-Presse
Former President and now Pampanga 2nd district Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s motion for bail in connection with her electoral sabotage case has been granted.
The Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 112 under Judge Jesus Mupas approved the bail in a resolution signed Tuesday.
Mupas, however, denied the motion for bail of former Maguindanao Election Supervisor Lintang Bedol.
The court sheriff is now on the way to Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City to serve the resolution.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said they may file an appeal following the court’s decision favoring Arroyo’s motion for bail.
“We will probably file a motion for reconsideration with the same judge. In the meantime, what we’re trying to verify now if it’s immediately executory or it will not become final until a motion for reconsideration is resolved. Yun lang ho ang gusto naming malaman muna,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said.
Brillantes said they have yet to receive a copy of Mupas’ resolution.
“We would like to read it first. I was talking to our prosecution team immediately and they said they have to see first what were the reasons why the former president was granted bail,” he said.
He said, “This was just the bail hearing. This could give us the lesson na baka kulang pa yung evidence naming and we can present additional evidence in the trial on the merits of the case.”
The Comelec chief said if the court’s order is executory and Arroyo immediately posts bail, she may be allowed to go home.
He, however, reiterated that Arroyo won’t be able to leave the country, as a hold departure order was issued by the Sandiganbayan against her in the plunder case for the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds.
“I know for a fact the Sandiganbayan has already issued a hold departure older in the plunder case. I don’t think she will be able to leave the country, but she’ll be able to go out of the hospital and go home if she wants to,” he said.
Aside from Arroyo, nine other co-accused in the plunder case who are former officials of the PCSO and the Commission on Audit are included in the hold departure order.
- Sergio Valencia, former PCSO Chairperson
- Rosario Uriarte, former PCSO General Manager
- Manuel Morato, former PCSO Board Member
- Jose Taruc, former PCSO Board Member
- Raymundo Roquero, former PCSO Board Member
- Ma. Fatima Valdes, former PCSO Board Member
- Benigno Aguas, former PCSO Budget Officer
- Reynaldo Villar, former COA Chairperson
- Nilda Plaras, former COA Intelligence Officer
The order was in connection with the alleged misuse of some P365-million worth of funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) from 2007 to 2010.
This is the third hold departure order against Arroyo.