Group urges Ombudsman to resolve non-bailable plunder case vs. Gloria Arroyo
Two lawmakers filed a petition asking the Ombudsman to resolve the complaint filed by Bayan Muna against Gloria Arroyo last year for the non-bailable offense of plunder and graft for the malversation of the funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
It must be noted that during a Senate investigation it was revealed that between PhP 150 to PhP 350 Million of the PCSO funds, including its “Public Relations Fund” were realigned to its supposed “intelligence funds” and now cannot be traced.
Bayan Muna Party list Representatives Teddy Casiño and Neri Javier Colmenares also asked the Ombudsman to investigate the other anomalies committed by other PCSO officials in various contracts with Berjaya for the lotto machines used by the PCSO.
“We filed this case earlier than that of the NBN-ZTE complaint but it seems that this one is gathering dust. The NBN-ZTE case is now being heard at the Sandiganbayan, and we also want this one to be resolved immediately considering that the case here is plunder. We believe that this is a very strong case against Gloria especially since her co-accused Uriarte admitted the irregularities under oath and would be a very big push for our campaign for accountability,” said Casiño.
“Dapat talagang paspasan na ang kasong ito, dahil ito talaga ang isa sa mga malalakas na kaso na maglalagay kay Gloria sa bilangguan sa mahabang panahon. Habang napakaraming mga kababayan natin ang humihingi ng tulong sa PCSO ang namatay dahil limitado ang naibigay o walang naibigay ang ahensya, siya naman ay daang milyon ang kinuha at ginamit na walang pakundangan,” he added.
Colmenares said that “the case filed for electoral sabotage is dependent on witnesses who could suddenly disappear and there is a need to immediately file a plunder case to ensure that Arroyo will not be able to post bail.
As for former PCSO Manager Rosario Uriarte, we know that you were used by Gloria to get what she wants, this is the best time to tell all you know and turn state witness.”
“Mrs. Uriarte can avail of the witness protection program if she tells all so that she can help in stopping corruption and it would be a very big load off her conscience. She should think of the many that could have been saved by the PCSO funds rather than Gloria’s interests,” Colmenares said.