Supporters to Gloria Arroyo: File cases vs Aquino

Mara Cepeda
Supporters to Gloria Arroyo: File cases vs Aquino
'Dahil po sa kanya, ikinulong niya ang aming pangulo na walang kasalanan,' says the leader of the Kongreso ng Maralitang Pilipino

MANILA, Philippines – Supporters of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Wednesday, July 20, urged her to file cases against former president Benigno Aquino III.

According to the leader of nongovernmental organization Kongreso ng Maralitang Pilipino, this is in retaliation for Arroyo’s 4-year detention over a plunder case allegedly instigated by Aquino.

Dapat po pagbayaran nila….Dapat din po idemanda sa plunder case sa DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) at PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund), doon sa Mamasapano!” Ramon de Leon told reporters in front of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), where the group awaited Arroyo’s release following her acquittal.

(They should pay for what they did… They should be charged with plunder over the DAP, PDAF, and Mamasapano!)

De Leon agreed with the Arroyo camp that her acquittal meant her plunder case was “political persecution” by Aquino. 

The Supreme Court is yet to issue a hard copy of its 11-4 decision to acquit Arroyo of plunder.  The document would set in motion her freedom from hospital arrest over the alleged misuse of P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds from 2008 to 2010. (READ: TIMELINE: Gloria Arroyo – From plunder to acquittal)

'CHARGE AQUINO.' Kongreso ng Maralitang Pilipino leader Ramon de Leon says former president Benigno Aquino III should be charged with plunder. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

De Leon said his group thanks the 11 Supreme Court justices who voted to acquit Arroyo.

As for Aquino, he said, “Dahil po sa kanya, ikinulong niya ang aming pangulo na walang kasalanan (Because of him, our president was arrested even if she was innocent).”

“Ngayon, ang karangalan ng aming pangulo ay nakasalalay. Nalaman na ng sambayanang Pilipino na ang ating pangulo ay walang kasalanan. Wala silang ebidensya sa plunder case,” De Leon added.

(Now, the honor of our president is at stake. The public knows she did not do anything wrong. There is no evidence for the plunder case.)

KMP members came to the VMMC with banners saying, “Maligayang paglay,a GMA (Happy acquittal, GMA)” and “Victory for urban poor.” 

They said they were among the informal settlers in Metro Manila who got land titles during the Arroyo administration. 

In a statement following her acquittal on Tuesday, Arroyo hinted at possibly retaliating against her critics, saying that “the disregard of truth for which I was made to suffer be dealt with accordingly at the soonest possible time.”

But her legal counsel, Estelito Mendoza, told the media that she will likely not seek revenge against her enemies.

Two days after he stepped down from the presidency, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruptionfiled multiple homicide charged against Aquino and two others over the Mamasapano incident where at least 66 people were killed. 

A week later, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan filed a graft complaint against Aquino and former budget secretary Florencio Abad over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), an economic pumppriming program which the Supreme Court had ruled as partly unconstitutional.  

The PDAF was abolished during Aquino’s watch. – Rappler.com

 

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.