^

Arroyo's plea to attend Bro. Mike's event junked

Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - July 18, 2014 - 2:22pm

MANILA, Philippines — Saying that allowing her would be a "bad precedent," the Sandiganbayan junked former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's petition to be granted furlough from detention to attend El Shaddai Founder Mariano "Mike" Velarde's golden wedding anniversary celebration.

"The Court has already found that evidence of her guilt is strong," Associate Justice Efren de la Cruz of the anti-graft court's First Division said in a resolution Friday. "The accused-movant's motion is bereft of merit."

It also ruled that Arroyo's "stance runs counter to the very essence of her detention."

In her request to the tribunal, Arroyo asked the Court to allow her to attend the El Shaddai leader's wedding anniversary today in Parañaque City.

She was supposed to be one of the principal sponsors in the event, along with former President Joseph Estrada, ex-First Lady Imelda Marcos, and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

The plunder respondent sought  the court's permission  to leave the Veterans Memorial Medical Center where she is under custody as  Velarde is "not only a close friend but one of her spiritual advisers."

Also read: The ties that bind: Gloria Arroyo and Mike Velarde's friendship

"According to her, 'She should be afforded the same privileges that those who have yet to be found guilty by final judgment of a criminal offense may enjoy," the court recounted.

Arroyo's reason, however, was not found "that important" for her to be allowed to leave detention.

The court has earlier denied her petition asking the court to allow her to celebrate her 67th birthday in her hometown of Lubao, Pampanga.

"The Court holds, and so rules, that being a detention prisoner, just like all other detention prisoners, accused Arroyo cannot be allowed the full employment of her rights, be it civil or political," the anti-graft court said.

"And the inherent and consequent restraints in some of her rights does not run counter to the constitutional presumption of her innocence, for the rule stands that until a promulgation of final conviction is made, the constitutional mandate of presumption of innocence prevails," it added.

Arroyo is now detained at the Veteran's Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City for plunder charges in connection with the P366-million Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds. - with a report from Dennis Carcamo

ARROYO ASSOCIATE JUSTICE EFREN COURT DENNIS CARCAMO EL SHADDAI EL SHADDAI FOUNDER MARIANO FIRST DIVISION FIRST LADY IMELDA MARCOS GLORIA ARROYO AND MIKE VELARDE HOUSE SPEAKER FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with