Palace says litigation of GMA should be solely based on evidence

October 4, 2012 9:37 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Oct. 4 — Malacanang said Thursday the litigation of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in connection with the P300 million plunder case filed against her before the Sandiganbayan should be based solely on evidence.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told a news briefing: "When it comes to the case (of Macapagal-Arroyo) before the Sandiganbayan, it will be litigated based on the evidence that the government would be presenting through the PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office).

"So I think it should be free from politics and should be solely based on the evidence that will be submitted."

The Sandiganbayan First Division ordered Wednesday the arrest of the former president and nine others in connection with the plunder case involving the alleged misuse of P300 million PCSO funds.

The others included in the arrest order are former PCSO chairman Sergio Valencia, former PCSO vice chairman and general manager Rosario Uriarte, members of the PCSO board of directors Manuel Morato, Jose Taruc V, Raymundo Roquero, and Ma. Fatima Valdes; former PCSO budgets and accounts manager Benigno Aguas, former Commission on Audit chairman Reynaldo Villar, and former head of COA's intelligence/confidential fund audit unit Nilda Plaras.

Lacierda said Malacanang respects whatever decision is issued by Sandiganbayan.

"It just shows that the government, through the PCSO, has presented a case which has probable cause," he said.

"We| leave it with the Ombudsman to prosecute the case. They themselves have found a prima facie case on the former president and the officials of the PCSO."

When asked if the government has a stronger case, Lacierda replied: "I am not familiar with the details of the case.But I think there is evidence…"(PNA)

HBC/LGI

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