MANILA - The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which is engaged in a decades-old insurgency, denounced Wednesday the dismissal of plunder charges against former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her subsequent release from hospital detention.
Supreme Court magistrates voted 11-4 in her favor to throw out the plunder case due to a lack of evidence, court spokesman Theodore Te told a televised news conference.
Arroyo was initially detained for alleged electoral fraud but was later charged with plunder in connection with 366 million pesos ($7.82 million) in state lottery funds, some of which had been allocated for intelligence gathering.
SC grants Arroyo plea, orders her release
In a statement, the CPP said the Aquino government must be made to answer "for having filed the weakest among the several possible plunder and criminal cases against Arroyo."
"Arroyo was not charged for her involvement with the anomalous and overpriced ZTE Broadband deal nor with the IMPSA powerplant deal both of which she was directly involved in. Neither was Arroyo charged of her involvement in at least 1,000 cases of extrajudicial killings against activists perpetrated by her cabinet security cluster which she worked closely with during her nine-year term in office, especially from 2005 onwards," the party said.
The CPP said no top official of the Arroyo administration was appropriately charged and punished for corruption despite President Aquino's repeated statements denouncing the corruption under the Arroyo presidency. It described the filing of charges against Mrs. Arroyo as "political playacting" meant to disenfranchise Arroyo.
The party also lamented how the Duterte administration did not pose any objection to Arroyo's petition to dismiss the case "consistent with Duterte's opinion that the case against the former president was weak."
"His justice officials could have bid for time and undertake measures to review and strengthen the case," it said.
"The dismissal of charges and release of Arroyo is a manifestation of the lopsided justice system and rotten politics of accommodation that is the hallmark of the ruling reactionary political system," the CPP said.
It added: "It underscores the injustices and damages suffered by the Filipino people under bureaucrat capitalism where the ruling state serves the familial and class interests of the political and economic elite. The Supreme Court is an integral component of the bureaucrat capitalist system. Contrary to claims of the ruling elite, it has never served as a fountainhead of justice for the people."
"The acquittal of Arroyo only intensifies the people's aspiration to attain justice for the corruption and fascist crimes they suffered under the Arroyo regime. The people must continue to vigorously pursue their quest for justice by charging her before the reactionary courts as well as by availing of the justice system under the revolutionary people's democratic government."
President Duterte earlier said he is ready to pardon Mrs. Arroyo after other respondents in the plunder case have been released.
Arroyo, however, refused the offer because she has to admit to the crime before she becomes eligible for pardon. With Reuters
Duterte ready to pardon Arroyo