By BEN ROSARIO
After a Supreme Court decision to clear former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of plunder, her lawyers are contemplating on demanding the grant of compensation and public apology from government as recommended by international human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney in a complaint filed before the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
This developed as Arroyo colleagues in the House of Representatives welcomed the High Court ruling that junked the plunder case filed by the Aquino administration against Arroyo in connection with the alleged misappropriation of some R366 million in confidential and intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Reps. Rodito Albano (NP, Isabela); Rodel Batocabe (Ako Bicol Partylist); and Fred Castro (LP, Capiz), all outgoing members of the House Committee on Justice, together with Reps. Alfred Vargas (LP, Quezon City), Gus Tambunting (UNA, Paranaque City) and Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco said they look forward to Arroyo’s return to the Lower House.
Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo lauded the verdict.
“Thank God, They took away six years of her life – an innocent woman,” he stated in a Facebook message.
The former president spent nearly six years in hospital detention as a result of the Sandiganbayan’s rejection of her petitions for bail and dismissal of the charges. Most of her co-accused in the conspiracy to commit plunder case, including former key officials of the PCSO, have been cleared of the charge.
However, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate aired “grave disappointment” with the SC ruling, even as he blamed the Aquino government of being “merely contented in keeping her politically paralyzed in the past six years rather than obtaining a conviction.”