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Ex-Pres. Gloria Arroyo, 5 others cleared in plunder charge


Former President Gloria Arroyo and five others have been cleared of plunder charge relating to alleged irregularities in the sale of the old Iloilo Airport in 2007.
 
Ombudsman Conchita Morales threw out the complaint against Arroyo in a 19-page resolution for lack of evidence, according to a report on dzBB radio Wednesday.
Also cleared were former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, former Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, former Finance Privatization Council head John Philip Sevilla and Megaworld Corp. chair Andrew Tan.  
Thrown out by the Ombudsman was the complaint by so-called whistleblower Danilo Lihaylihay which it deemed had no merit, adding there was no evidence Arroyo and five others acquired ill-gotten wealth from the transaction.
 
Lihaylihay had accused Arroyo in August 2010 of issuing an executive order to benefit Megaworld Corp. in the sale of the old Iloilo Airport in 2007.
 
He alleged that when the government sold the property in October 2007 to Megaworld for P1.2 billion, the corresponding six-percent capital gains tax amounting to P72 million did not go to government coffers. 
 
"All respondents are guilty of the crime charged, through conspiracy and connivance,"  Lihaylihay then said, who was president of the Philippine Association of Revenue Informers Inc. and chief investigator of the Vanguard Anti-Graft Task Force Inc. 
 
But the Ombudsman said Lihaylihay failed to establish a conspiracy among Arroyo and the other respondents. 
 
Morales added Lihaylihay failed to prove supposed fraud in the sale of the airport. –KG/LBG, GMA News
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