MANILA, Philippines – Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo on Friday, June 15, denounced the testimony of the star witness in the electoral sabotage case against his wife, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Fabricated lahat ng sinabi ni Unas,” Mr Arroyo told Rappler before he attended a Sandiganbayan proceeding initially meant to be his conditional arraignment. (Unas’ testimony was fabricated.)
The former First Gentleman, who also called Unas’ testimony “hearsay,” declined to explain further.
Unas, a former right-hand man of former Maguindanao Gov Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr, appeared in court Thursday to help prove that Mrs Arroyo doesn’t deserve to be granted bail. (Read: Star witness testifies vs GMA.)
In another interview with reporters, Mr Arroyo expressed hope that the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 112, which is handling Mrs Arroyo’s case, would act favorably on her petition to post bail.
“I expect the judge to grant bail,” he said, citing the quality of Unas’ testimony. (Watch more in the video below.)
On Mrs Arroyo’s condition, the former First Gentleman said it is “very sad because she’s such a workaholic and yet she’s detained.”
“And yet she’s still innocent until proven guilty — and on flimsy grounds, and the guy wasn’t even credible,” Mr Arroyo said, referring to Unas.
No personal knowledge?
During Thursday’s hearing, Unas admitted he didn’t personally see actual fraud in the 2007 elections. He said he only handled the logistics, which included funding, of the alleged cheating operations. (Read: Unas: I didn’t see actual poll fraud.)
“He does not know anything personally. He’s just assuming that since he gave money, there was already cheating. What if it’s a campaign. You know, in election campaigns, you give money,” defense lawyer Reynaldo Prinsesa told reporters after the hearing.
“Of course that’s their contention,” said Comelec’s legal department head, Esmeralda Ladra, in a separate interview. “May personal knowledge siya kasi siya ang sidekick ni Andal Ampatuan Sr.” (He has personal knowledge because he is the sidekick of Andal Ampatuan Sr.)
The Pasay RTC can allow Mrs Arroyo to post bail if the prosecution fails to prove there is strong evidence of guilt. (Read: Burden on the prosecution to deny GMA bail.) – Rappler.com
More in #ArroyoWatch:
- Sandiganbayan: Why was Arroyo released?
- Comelec to file motion against Arroyo bail
- Court grants Arroyo bail in election case
- Court bars Arroyo, ex-PCSO chair from leaving
- Arroyo, 9 others charged with plunder
- Arroyo bail feared due to ‘rushed’ case
- Ombudsman asked to file plunder case vs Arroyo
- Comelec broke rules to charge Arroyo