Revisiting Arroyo’s Plunder Case
CHEERS TO Rappler.com for its efforts to revisit former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s plunder case, coinciding with the fifteenth anniversary of the protest action known as “EDSA Dos” or People Power II that ousted Joseph Estrada in 2001.
Rappler posted “What has happened to the Arroyo plunder case?” on January 22, in which Reynaldo Santos Jr. recalled developments on the high-profile case involving the former president, among them the entry of Estelito Mendoza into the picture, Arroyo’s being allowed to spend Christmas and New Year with her family, and the suspension of her trials twice.
Arroyo, who was charged with plunder two years after her term ended for alleged misuse of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office intelligence funds, is currently in hospital detention at the Veteran Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City. The Arroyo case is now at the Supreme Court (SC), where oral arguments have been suspended since November 24.The SC first issued a 30-day suspension order last October 20, renewing it in November for 90 days.
The article noted the entry of Estelito Mendoza, Marcos’ former justice minister, who was instrumental in elevating the case to the High Court. Mendoza earlier represented Senator Juan Ponce Enrile who was granted bail on humanitarian grounds in August 2015. He has also represented Arroyo in 2011 when the former president faced plunder raps for the sale of a lot near the old Iloilo airport. Rappler referred to another piece which examined Mendoza’s “access to inside information on the High Court.” (“The ties between Lucas Bersamin and Estelito Mendoza,” Aug. 31, 2015), noting that “Not only does counsel Mendoza have the connections, but so does his client Arroyo. In fact, a majority of the sitting justices – 9 out of 15 were her appointees.” It then enumerated the following justices who were Arroyo appointees:
- Antonio Carpio (2001)
- Presbitero Velasco (2006)
- Teresita de Castro (2007)
- Arturo Brion (2008)
- Diosdado Peralta (2009)
- Lucas Bersamin (2009)
- Mariano del Castillo (2009)
- Jose Perez (2009)
- Jose Mendoza (2010)
With the oral arguments on hold, the public has to wait for additional developments on the issue. The fast approaching national elections will certainly cast a shadow on other matters that merit equal attention. Updating such cases as Arroyo’s for the sake of a better informed public is always welcome.
Twitter user John Antiquerra (@johnreiner5) tagged the CMFR regarding the Rappler article.
— John Antiquerra 鑫益 (@johnreiner5) January 24, 2016