SC clarifies TRO doesn't cover Arroyo
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - The Supreme Court spokesperson has clarified an earlier statement she released to reporters and said that the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Tribunal covers a co-accused of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, not Arroyo herself.
SC spokeswoman Ma. Victoria Gleoresty Guerra clarified that the TRO issued by the SC on Monday, October 29, covers Nilda Plaras, a former head of the Commission on Audit-Intel Unit who was also charged with plunder before the Sandiganbayan.
Guerra said the TRO stops the issuance of an arrest warrant against Plaras.
In an earlier text message Monday, Gleo Guerra said the Court will release a copy of the TRO on Arroyo's arraignment within the day. She said: "The SC PIO will furnish the media, as well as upload today, a copy of the SC TRO on former President GMA's arraignment before the Sandiganbayan on PCSO/plunder case."
Sought for verification, Guerra then explained to reporters that the Court acted on a petition filed by a co-accused of Mrs Arroyo, but that the TRO also covered the former president.
But the Sandiganbayan and the lawyer of Mrs Arroyo reported not having received a copy of the TRO.
Asked to further clarify her previous information, Guerra apologized and said she will issue a clarification later, which she did at around 3pm Monday.
On October 24, Mrs Arroyo filed the petition for TRO. In her 80-page October 24 petition for certiorari and prohibition, the ex-president and now Pampanga Representative also asked the High Court, dominated by her appointees, to dismiss the plunder charges filed against her by the Ombudsman. (Read her petition here.)
Mrs Arroyo was arraigned at the Sandiganbayan Monday, where she refused to enter a plea pending an SC verdict on her petition to stop and nullify the ongoing plunder trial against her.
Mrs Arroyo and 9 former government officials are facing P366-M plunder charges on allegations they misused the funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. - Rappler.com