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Arroyo camp urges Aquino to respect SC ruling

The camp of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Saturday urged former President Benigno Aquino III to respect the Supreme Court decision that freed the Pampanga lawmaker from plunder charges.

Atty. Laurence Arroyo, a member of Arroyo's legal team, said the SC is an independent branch of government which thoroughly studied the case before handing down a ruling last Tuesday.

"We have to respect the ruling of the Supreme Court," he said in a weekly media briefing in Quezon City.

"The Supreme Court is an independent branch of government and we can assume that the Supreme Court before coming out with the ruling had thoroughly reviewed the facts of the case, had thoroughly weighed the evidence, had thoroughly considered the issues before arriving at the decision granting the petition as well as the demurrer to evidence."

The SC said there was insufficient evidence to pin down Arroyo to the alleged misuse of P366 million intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds, allowing her to walk out of the Veteran's Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on Thursday following after a four-year wait.

Aquino questioned the decision, saying the SC seemed to imply that nothing anomalous transpired and that no one should be held to account. 

“What is the recourse now of the Filipino people, when it is clear that a substantial amount of public funds did not go to the intended services, which would have alleviated the suffering of many of our countrymen?” he said.

Arroyo supporters viewed the dismissal of the case as vindication that the case was politically motivated.

Still, the former president reportedly has no plans of getting back at Aquino by filing cases for alleged unlawful prosecution or seeking government compensation over her detention. — VVP, GMA News