MANILA, Philippines. Voting 11 to 4, the Supreme Court on Tuesday, July 19, dismissed the plunder case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in connection with charges that she misused intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
The Supreme Court found a lack of evidence in the plunder case against Arroyo and several others that involved the release of more than P366 million from the intelligence funds of the PCSO from 2008 to 2010. The high court ordered the immediate release of Arroyo, who has been under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center after nearly four years since 2012.
The 11 justices who voted in favor of Arroyo’s petition to drop a Sandiganbayan ruling against her are Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., Justice Teresita de Castro, Justice Arturo Brion, Justice Diosdado Peralta, Justice Lucas Bersamin, Justice Mariano del Castillo, Justice Jose Perez, Justice Jose Mendoza, Justice Bienvenido Reyes, Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, and Justice Francis Jardeleza.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Justices Marvic Leonen and Benjamin Caguioa voted against Arroyo.
Arroyo’s lawyer Raul Lambino said the Philippine National Police (PNP) would immediately process the former President’s release after the SC promulgates its decision.
“Iyung mga ganyang klaseng desisyon ng Korte, final and executory kaagad po yan eh. Hindi naman pwede magkaroon ng MR at appeal. Immediately, promulgate na po iyan. Hintayin lang natin yung formal written desision para may basehang dokumento ang PNP at maiproseso yung kaukulang release papers bago mabigyan ng tuluyang kalayaan ang dating pangulo,” Lambino told the media.