Category: Asia Published on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 08:02 Written by Christine Alvin
House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales said Tuesday that the Former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo cannot be isolated from Congress nor prohibited from running for the same post until she was finally convicted of plunder. The Ombudsman filed its first plunder case against Mrs. Arroyo and 8 others over wrongdoings in the misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds, yesterday.
The Ombudsman in its ruling said that the final analysis of the PCSO's charter and the general appropriations acts for 2008, 2009 and 2010 were best left to the courts. About P365 million in PCSO funds were involved in the allegedly irregular disbursements which the Ombudsman said were abstracted for personal gain.
The House majority leader said Congressmen Ruben Ecleo Jr. and Romeo Jalosjos were only removed from the rolls after their convictions became final. He said, "When final judgment includes the penalty of absolute and perpetual disqualification to hold public office that becomes part of penalty. In fact, she's free to run. She can still decide to seek a 2nd term. Walang pipigil hanggat walang conviction ng final judgment."