Court enters 'not guilty' plea for Arroyo

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2012 08:25 AM | Updated as of Oct 29 2012 08:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 2) Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo refused to enter a plea at the Sandiganbayan for the arraignment of her plunder case. Thus, the court entered a not guilty plea on her behalf.

The plunder case stems from Arroyo's alleged misuse of over P300-million in funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Also at the Sandiganbayan are Arroyo’s co-accused, Sergio Valencia and Benigno Aguas.

According to Sandiganbayan spokesperson Renato Bocar, the arraignment is open to the public but their courtroom can only accommodate a limited number of persons.

He said Arroyo's graft case in connection with the botched ZTE-NBN project is also pending at the Sandiganbayan.

The former President left the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) at 7:15 a.m. accompanied by former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, Congressman Dato Arroyo and Luli Arroyo.

Arroyo was in a neck brace and wheel chair when she arrived.

Mikey Arroyo arrived separately, a few minutes after his mother.

The Arroyo convoy was accompanied with elements of the Philippine National Police's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, the PNP bomb squad and the Quezon City Police District.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Arroyo's supporters have already trooped to the Sandiganbayan. -- Reports from ANC, DZMM