Arroyo co-accused in PCSO plunder case seeks bail

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 20 2016 08:24 PM

PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte. File Photo

MANILA - Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) general manager Rosario Uriarte has asked the Sandiganbayan's permission to place her under house arrest and be allowed to post bail for medical reasons.

Uriarte is among the remaining accused in the plunder case against former President Gloria Arroyo. The case stems from the alleged misuse of P365 million in confidential/intelligence funds of PCSO. 

Arroyo's plunder case was dismissed in July. However, the court has yet to render judgment on Uriarte, who went into hiding while Arroyo's case was being heard.

After four years, she surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation last November 16.

In a motion, Uriarte's camp said doctors found a tumor in her right breast after a series of tests last November. A chemotherapy is recommended once every three or four weeks for a period of six months, and may possibly extend for three to four months.

Since the treatment will cause complications such as fatigue, risk of infection, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, mouth sores and diarrhea, Uriate prefers to stay with her family who will attend to her needs.

Her house is also near St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City.

"The proximity of Accused Uriarte's home to the hospital is equally important where she to undergo chemotherapy treatment on an ‘in-patient’ basis instead, as she would be able to avoid stress and amount of exposure during the much-shortened travel time it would take to and from the hospital," the motion read.

Aside from house arrest, Uriarte also asked for immediate grant of bail. 

Citing the July 19, 2016 Supreme Court decision on Arroyo's plunder case, Uriarte reiterated that there was insufficient evidence to put her on plunder trial. 

The SC ruling said "the prosecution did not sufficiently allege the existence of a conspiracy among GMA (Arroyo), (Benito) Aguas, and Uriarte."

She also referred to the SC's ruling which allowed former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to post bail for his pork barrel scam plunder case for health reasons.