Ex-PCSO chief, deputy surrender
MANILA, Philippines - Two of Pampanga Rep Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's co-accused in a plunder case before the Sandiganbayan have surrendered.
Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Sergio Valencia and assistant General Manager for finance Benigno Aguas surrendered Thursday night, October 4, with their lawyers, according to Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group deputy director Keith Singian.
Arroyo herself was arrested on Thursday at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City. She is under hospital arrest.
Another co-accused, former PCSO director Raymundo Roquero, is also expected to surrender.
The P366-M plunder case filed against Mrs Arroyo by the Ombudsman is in connection with the alleged misuse by the Arroyo administration of PCSO's intelligence funds while she was still president.
As of posting, Valencia and Aguas were at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame. They have to be processed by Sandiganbayan officials for their mugshots and prints.
Aside from Valencia, Aguas and Roquero, the other accused are the following: Rosario Uriarte, former PCSO general manager; Manuel Morato, Jose Taruc V, and Ma Fatima Valdes, former members of the PCSO board; Reynaldo Villar, former chairman of the Commission on Audit; and Nilda Plaras, former COA officer.
The case was based on two separate complaints – one dated Jul 25, 2011 filed by Jaime Regalario, Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel and Danilo Lim, for plunder, malversation and violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019; and another complaint dated Nov 29, 2011 by the PCSO itself represented by Eduardo Araullo, for plunder and violation of RA 3019.
The Ombudsman's suit alleged that Mrs Arroyo approved the alleged diversion of PCSO's intelligence funds for purposes not related to the core work of the agency, which is to help indigents and sectors working with them. - Rappler.com