Filtered By: News
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ran to the Supreme Court for help after her supplemental bail plea was denied by the Sandiganbayan.
In a petition, Mrs. Arroyo's camp said the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied her bail application on the ground that the evidence of her guilt is strong.
Mrs. Arroyo, however, insisted that she is still entitled to bail for two reasons: her continued detention has resulted in the impairment of her health, and; she is demonstrably not a flight risk.
The former Philippine leader said her continued detention "assumes the form of a punishment."
"President Arroyo submits that her continued detention under the circumstances is incongruous with the constitutional presumption of innocence," read the petition, copies of which the media obtained on Friday.
"The law presumes her innocence yet the Sandiganbayan keeps her in detention - in grave abuse of its discretion," it added.
Mrs. Arroyo filed a petition for bail in January 2013 and a supplemental motion for bail October that year.
The following month, in November 2013, the Sandiganbayan denied the bail plea, prompting Mrs. Arroyo in February 2014 to seek a reconsideration, which was also turned down in April 2014.
In her eight-page supplemental motion for reconsideration submitted by her camp in February 2014, she claimed that she deserves temporary freedom due to her health condition.
Mrs. Arroyo's camp said their petition should be taken separately from their earlier bail petitions, which attacked the “weakness and insufficiency of the prosecution's evidence.” They also said that Mrs. Arroyo is "not a flight risk."
"The possibility of President Arroyo's escape, bearing in mind her official and social standing and her other personal circumstances, is remote, if not nil," the motion said.
The defense also assured the court that Mrs. Arroyo will not flee, should she be allowed to post bail.
Mrs. Arroyo is currently under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City for allegedly conspiring to fraudulently divert P366 million in confidential PCSO intelligence funds "for personal gain" from 2008 to 2010.- JJ/RSJ, GMA News