Lacson welcomes SC ruling, says Arroyo 'paid' dues in detention

MANILA, Philippines – Once a political enemy of former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Senator Panfilo Lacson now says Arroyo already paid her dues in detention.

Lacson was reacting to the Supreme Court’s final decision acquitting Arroyo in the plunder case involving the controversial P366-million Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) fund scam. (READ: TIMELINE: Gloria Arroyo – from plunder to acquittal)

“We may agree or disagree with the Court's ruling but we must all recognize that when it comes to interpreting laws and jurisprudence, we should all assume that the Supreme Court justices know best,” Lacson said in a text message on Tuesday, April 18.

For Lacson, it’s all in the past. The senator said Arroyo has already suffered enough in her almost 7 years in detention.

“Outside of that, I personally think that former president GMA has already paid her dues for at least 7 years of detention and I am not one who would wish her to go through any more suffering and humiliation. That, in spite of her role in making my life miserable without letup during her years in Malacañang,” Lacson said.

Lacson left the Philippines in 2010 in the wake of revived charges against him, spending more than a year in hiding. He was implicated in the murder of publicist Salvador Dacer and driver Emmanuel Corbito. He returned to the country in 2011, under the administration of Benigno Aquino III, a political ally.

Eleven justices voted to acquit Arroyo with finality while 4 dissented – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Benjamin Caguioa.

Of the 4, only Carpio was an Arroyo appointee while the rest were appointed by Aquino, who moved to incarcerate Arroyo in 2012.

President Rodrigo Duterte's appointees, Associate Justices Noel Tijam and Samuel Martires, voted in favor of Arroyo. –


Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email