MANILA, Philippines - The constituents of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo have asked the Supreme Court (SC) to stop her trial before the Sandiganbayan linking her to the alleged plunder of P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds.
Petitioners Rico Ocampo, Eugene Paul Ponio, Marcelo Valencia and Joaquin Manalac filed a motion for intervention before the high court on Friday. They are all voters from the second district of Pampanga, where Arroyo is district representative.
“The intervenors stand to benefit or be prejudiced with respect to the outcome of the case at hand because it is our representation to the House of Representatives that is unduly affected in this case. The intervenors humbly submit that they have as much interest in this case because of the issue of undue deprivation of representation as guaranteed under the law,” they stressed.
They said that if evidence is weak, the high court should immediately be resolved “so that she could devote her time to serving her constituents in her district,” read their seven-page petition filed through lawyer Vinalyn Potot - Baluran.
Arroyo is currently under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
She filed last October a petition questioning the arrest order issued by the anti-graft court, but it has yet to be acted upon by the Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno-led court. Sereno was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III back in September.
The petition was supposedly raffled to the office of Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, also recently appointed by Aquino.
The SC, which is in a holiday recess, will be back on January 8.