High court reaffirms Arroyo’s acquittal of crime of plunder

The Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday reaffirmed its acquittal of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the crime of plunder, according to The Manila Times Online report on Tuesday.

During their summer session in Baguio City, the high court justices ditched the motion for reconsideration filed by the Office of the Ombudsman, citing principle of double jeopardy.

With a vote of 11 against 4, the Supreme Court reconfirmed its earlier ruling granting demurrer to evidence to Arroyo for lack of evidence to prove the crime of plunder.

With the acquittal of Arroyo, criminal proceedings against her can no longer be pursued.

The ex-president was accused of embezzling P366 million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) from 2008 to 2010.

Also charged with the crime of plunder were several members of her administration, including Commission on Audit chairman Reynaldo Villar, former COA CIF Fraud Audit Unit head Nilda Plaras, Budget and Accounts Manager Benigno Aquas and general manager of PCSO Rosario Uriarte.