2011 Midyear PLUNDER CASE BONUS vs Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Rumored corrupt former president of the Philippines Gloria Arroyo… only evidence could probe it! Let the Law Speaks

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was charged with plunder before the Department of Justice (DOJ) June 28, 2011.

Former solicitor general Francisco Chavez accused Arroyo of diverting over P2 billion in fertilizer funds to her campaign kitty when she ran for president in 2004.

In a text message, Elena Bautista-Horn, Arroyo’s spokesman, said: “We can’t comment until we get a copy and read the complaint.”

Meanwhile, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is preparing to charge Arroyo and former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte with plunder for the alleged diversion of some P150 million from the PR funds to “intelligence operations” a few months before the May 10 elections last year.

Lawyer Aleta Tolentino, PCSO director, told The STAR they have uncovered a document bearing Arroyo’s signature that approved the release of the P150-million intelligence fund of the agency.

“We are just gathering other documents prior to the filing of graft charges against Uriarte and possibly former President Arroyo,” she said.

Last week, Chavez pulled out from the Office of the Ombudsman the complaint for plunder, malversation of public funds, violation of the Constitution and election laws against Arroyo.

Chavez said Arroyo had authorized the Department of Agriculture to release P728 million and P1.59 billion from the fertilizer fund program for poor farmers in separate orders in February 2004, as the campaign period was starting.

Chavez said Arroyo cannot pontificate on good governance. “She should not have the temerity to do that because look at her trail – it’s a trail of unmitigated corruption, pillage and plunder,” he said.

Chavez said the funds were purportedly used for Arroyo’s presidential campaign.

“(Respondent Arroyo) caused the release of no less than P728 million and P1.59 billion, or an aggregate amount of P2.318 billion, of public funds of the Department of Agriculture to specific members of the House of Representatives, provincial governors, and city and municipal mayors,” read the complaint.

Chavez submitted almost 200 pages of documentary evidence, including the Department of Budget and Management’s special allotment release orders, Senate Blue Ribbon committee’s reports in 2006 and 2009, and Commission on Audit report, among others.

Chavez included in the list of respondents former agriculture secretary Luis Lorenzo Jr., former undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, former assistant secretary Ibarra Poliquit, Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, Budget director Nora Oliveros, and so-called runners Jaime Paule, Rose Lingan-Florendo, Leni Aquino and Jane Fabian.

The complaint alleged that the others had “served as conduits in the diversion of funds.”

A case involving the P728-million fertilizer fund scam is now pending before the Sandiganbayan.

However, it does not include Arroyo because the Office of the Ombudsman investigated the case when she was still president enjoying immunity from suit.

Tolentino, who is leading the PCSO legal team looking for alleged anomalies in the past administration, said they are checking statement of assets and liabilities of Arroyo and Uriarte for unexplained wealth and any link to the P150-million intelligence fund for possible filing of plunder charges.

“If we cannot link their assets to the intel fund then we will file graft charges,” she said.

The alleged diversion of P150-million PR fund was contained in a memorandum of Uriarte dated Jan. 4. 2010 to Arroyo.

In her memorandum Uriarte said there is a need to deploy confidential agents to monitor jueteng and other illegal numbers games and to check on other illegal activities that place the PCSO in bad light.

The intelligence operation would also be directed against the diversion of PCSO-donated medicine to drug stores and the operations of Small Town Lottery (STL).

The document has a marginal note “OK” with the signature of Arroyo, indicating the approval of the request.

The Jan. 4, 2010 memorandum is so far the only document that links Arroyo to alleged anomalies in the PCSO.

Other irregularities uncovered by the new PCSO board was the alleged co-mingling and juggling of the multi-billion prize, charity, and operation funds, resulting in the loss of several billions of pesos that could have provided medical assistance to the poor and needy.

Under the PCSO charter, funds generated from sales of lottery and sweepstakes tickets must be allocated to the prize (55 percent), charity (30 percent) and operation (15 percent) funds.

The PCSO has been generating over P20-billion income every year from the sale of tickets of online lottery games, sweepstakes draws and other legal number games

 

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