SC orders Sandiganbayan to comment on ex-President Arroyo’s petition for bail

By Perfecto T. Raymundo

MANILA, June 16 (PNA) — The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the Sandiganbayan to file its comment on the petition of former President and now Pampanga (2nd District) Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to allow her to post bail.

The High Court gave the Sandiganbayan First Division a period of 10 days from notice within which to submit its comment on the petition for certiorari filed by the camp of the former president.

In her petition filed through her counsel Atty. Jose Flaminiano, the former president argued that her detention was risky to her health.

The petitioner said that she cannot be considered as a “flight risk”.

The Pampanga lawmaker also asked the SC to annul and set aside the Oct. 1, 2014 and Feb. 18, 2015 resolutions issued by the Sandiganbayan for having been issued in grave abuse of discretion.

The Sandiganbayan resolutions dismissed the petition for bail filed by Mrs. Arroyo in connection with the case involving the alleged misuse of the Php366-million intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

The Sandiganbayan earlier said in its resolutions that there was a strong evidence against Mrs. Arroyo, hence, they dismissed her petition for bail.

The petition argued that Mrs. Arroyo’s continued detention was contrary to the so-called “constitutional presumption of innocence”.

It added that the Sandiganbayan’s denial of such provision of the 1987 Constitution is considered as “grave abuse of discretion”.

Mrs. Arroyo also said in her petition that after her three surgical operations in her spine, her bone disease has not yet been healed.

She added that her continued medical confinement cannot help in her medical condition and in fact, it impedes her complete recovery.

The camp of the former president also said that she is ready to comply with any of the conditions to be set by the SC to allow her to post bail for her temporary liberty. (PNA)