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The Sandiganbayan First Division yesterday ordered the release of Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo after receiving the Supreme Court decision junking the plunder case against the former chief executive.
The court said Arroyo and her co-accused Benigno Aguas are “released from detention immediately, unless they are being held in custody for other reasons not related to the case.”
The document was signed by Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, Chairperson Efren de la Cruz, and Associate Justice Geraldine Faith Econg.
After the Sandiganbayan, the release order, served by First Division Sheriffs Onofre Tejada and Alexander Valencia, made its way to the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Quezon City.
Meanwhile, Cabotaje-Tang refused to offer any further comment on Arroyo’s release because the Supreme Court has the ultimate say regarding the matter.
“The Sandiganbayan will not make any comment on it. Since the Supreme Court is the highest court of the land and the final arbiter of all justiciable issues, the Sandiganbayan is duty-bound to respect and abide by it,” she said.
(CZARINA NICOLE ONG)