It’s 3-0 for Arroyo-A A +A
Sunday, May 11, 2014
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – It's now three triumphs for the camp of former President and current Pampanga Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo after the Office of the Ombudsman recently let her off the hook on the fertilizer scam.
The third "victory" came after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, in a resolution signed on May 2, 2014, cleared Arroyo of involvement in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.
Arroyo's alleged participation in the scheme has no factual or legal basis, said Morales, adding that there is no evidence to establish that the former President has a hand in the disbursement of fund.
The complaint was first filed in 2011 by a group led by the late Solicitor General Frank Chavez but was later recommended for dismissal. A reinvestigation of the case was later conducted after another plunder complaint was filed in the anti-corruption agency.
Just before the Ombudsman handed down its decision on the fertilizer fund scam, a prosecution witness practically cleared Mrs. Arroyo of wrongdoing in the alleged misuse of P366-million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) confidential and intelligence fund (CIF).
Commission on Audit (COA) Intelligence and Confidential Fund Audit Unit chief Flerida Africa Jimenez said during her testimony before the Sandiganbayan First Division that Arroyo is not a recipient of the fund and that "she is not the accountable officer for it."
Jimenez said that based on records of the COA's Confidential Fund Audit Unit (ICFAU), Arroyo does not appear to be the recipient of the CIF released to the PCSO from 2008 to 2010 and that she is not the accountable public officer on the said account.
"No, sir," Jimenez responded when Laurence Arroyo, counsel of the former President, asked her if Arroyo had received the amount. The COA officer also made a categorical negative answer when asked "if she [Arroyo] was the accountable officer" of the fund.
Jimenez said that it was former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte, being the special disbursing officer, was the person accountable for it.
Earlier on April 28, the Ombudsman also dismissed another case against the Pampanga lawmaker together with her son, Camarines Sur Representative Diosdado "Dato" Arroyo in connection with the alleged irregularities surrounding the Libmanan-Cabusao Dam and Skybridge 1 and 2 projects in the latter's province.
Morales approved the April 22 recommendation of the Field Investigation Office (FIO) to close and terminate the case as the evidence gathered does not warrant the initiation of criminal proceedings against the former president and her son.
Arroyo's legal counsel, Raul Lambino, was delighted with the recent rulings in favor of the former chief executive, adding they really have no connection with his client.
Lambino told Sun.Star Pampanga that they are hoping that the other cases of Arroyo and her other family members will also be dismissed in proper time. (JTD with Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 12, 2014.