Friday, July 22, 2011

A former President in the Philippines.

After failing to appear before a Department of Justice investigating panel three times, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo went to the DOJ on Friday to finally submit her counter-affidavit answering one of the three plunder complaints against her.

Arroyo's submission of her counter-affidavit was one day ahead of the scheduled preliminary investigation hearing on the plunder charges stemming from the alleged misuse P550 million in welfare funds for migrant workers.
Arroyo, incumbent congresswoman of Pampanga’s second district, has to appear before the DOJ panel and swear and subscribe to the authenticity of her counter-affidavit.
The plunder complaint was filed in April by former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez, who claimed that about P550 billion in private Overseas Workers’ Welfare Association (OWWA) funds were infused into PhilHealth funds, which are public in nature. He alleged that of the amount, P530 million was used for Arroyo’s election campaign in 2004.
Arroyo's lawyer, Benjamin Santos, has already denied that his client committed any wrongdoing. “There is absolutely no basis for the charges, absolutely none," Santos said during the preliminary investigation hearing last July 11.
A preliminary inquiry seeks to determine if there is probable cause that warrants the filing of criminal charges before the proper courts.
Arroyo is facing two other plunder complaints at the DOJ. The first was in connection with the alleged anomalous sale of the old Iloilo airport property in 2007. The other complaint, filed again by Chavez, stemmed from the supposed diversion in P1.6-billion fertilizer funds to Arroyo's campaign coffers in 2004.

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