Gloria Arroyo walks free from hospital detention
Rosette Adel ( - July 21, 2016 - 4:28pm

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 1 6:30 p.m.) — Absolved from plunder charges, former president and current Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo left hospital detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Manila early evening on Thursday.

Her release order was issued by the Sandiganbayan past 4 p.m. Macapagal-Arroyo left the VMMC, which became her home for four years, around 6:30 p.m., two days after the Supreme Court decision was announced Tuesday and reached the Sandiganbayan, which formalized her release.

One of her legal counsels, Laurence Arroyo, said there is no need for the anti-graft court to issue a release order since the SC’s ruling already ordered “immediate release” of the former president. The SC's ruling was promulgated on Thursday afternoon. 

The Philippine National Police in coordination with the Sandiganbayan sheriff, assisted Arroyo's release. She will head straight to her home at La Vista Village in Quezon City.

RELATED: Lawyers eye filing charges against Arroyo accusers

On Tuesday, the SC en banc voted 11-4 in favor of Arroyo and ordered the dismissal of her case as well as her immediate release due to "insufficiency of evidence" presented by the prosecution. The complete text of the ruling has yet to be released by the high court.

The former president was accused of alleged misuse of P366-million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office during her term.

Hours after the Supreme Court resolution was announced, Arroyo was seen in a photo with her lawyer Raul Lambino, smiling and not wearing her neck brace.

Laurence Arroyo said his camp was celebratory but Arroyo and her family were a disappointed over the delay of her release. The family was expecting her to be free by Tuesday evening "in time for dinner."

The former president, meanwhile, said in a statement that "justice and righteousness have once again prevailed over injustice and wrongdoing." She also said she plans to attend the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte next week.

RELATED: SC clears GMA of plunderSC acquittal proves ‘political persecution’ by Aquino - Arroyo camp

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