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FULL TEXT: Supreme Court ruling on Gloria Arroyo's plunder case

Eleven of the justices voted in favor of dismissing the case, while four dissented. File photo
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday acquitted former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo of plunder over her alleged misuse of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office's (PCSO) intelligence funds.
 
Eleven of the justices voted in favor of dismissing the case, while four dissented  — Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Justice Antonio Carpio, Justice Marvic Leonen and Justice Alfredo Caguioa.
 
The majority agreed with Arroyo and her co-petitioner Benigno Aguas that the Sandiganbayan "committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied their respective demurrers to the evidence."
 
The SC defined grave abuse of discretion as "a capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment which is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction."
 
It said the anti-graft court failed to appreciate the following: 
 
a) The prosecution did not properly allege and prove the existence of conspiracy among petitioners Arroyo, Aguas and Uriarte.
 
b) There was no proof of any amassing, or accumulating, or acquiring ill-gotten wealth of at least P50 million against petitioners Arroyo and Aguas.
 
c) The prosecution failed to prove the predicate act of raiding the public treasury because it failed to prove that petitioners Arroyo and Aguas, as public officers, had benefitted from the act.
 
The majority also found that the Sandiganbayan ignored the failure of the information to sufficiently charge the petitioners with conspiracy to commit plunder and ignored the lack of evidence.
 
Arroyo, Aguas and other then officers of the PCSO were accused of plunder last July 2012. 
 
Here is the full text of the ruling:

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