Arroyo, et al to be arraigned October 15

By Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Oct 08 2012 04:13 PM | Updated as of Oct 09 2012 07:22 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and two other respondents in the plunder case filed before the Sandiganbayan will be arraigned on October 15.

A one-page resolution was issued a few minutes ago setting the date for the arraignment of Mrs. Arroyo and former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Sergio Valencia and former Assistant General for Finance Benigno Aquas.

The resolution was signed by all three justices of the Sandiganbayan First Division.

The anti-graft court issued arrest warrants late Wednesday afternoon against the respondents who are facing plunder charges filed by the Office of the Ombudsman on the alleged misuse of P366 million PCSO funds.

Valencia and Aguas surrendered on Thursday night while Mrs. Arroyo was served the warrant at the presidential suite of the Veterans' Memorial Medical Center (VMMC). Doctors said she is suffering from extreme dehydration, low potassium levels and numbness.

The Sandiganbayan has already resolved earlier pleas from the Arroyo counsels to determine first whether or not the plunder charges would stand considering there was not enough evidence.

They now plan to file a bail petition on the non-bailable charge. “Even in non-bailable offenses, the accused is given an option to file if she believes the evidence is not strong,” lawyer Anacleto Diaz said.