MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker and Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been cleared of her 2007 electoral sabotage.
The Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 112 dismissed the credibility of the whistle blower, former Maguindanao provincial administrator Norie Unas.
Unas allegedly heard Arroyo say to then Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. “Dapat 12-0 sa Maguindanao, kahit ayusin o palitan pa ang resulta.”
“For failure of the prosecution to prove the guilt of accused Arroyo beyond reasonable doubt and moral certainty despite ample opportunity and even without evidence in favour of said accused, the demurrer to evidence is granted and the charge of electoral sabotage against accused Arroyo is hereby ordered dismissed,” Judge Jesus Mupas said in his 6-page decision signed on December 17.
The court also said that none of the other 12 prosecution witnesses “was able to establish any element of conspiracy with respect to accused Arroyo.”
According to Arroyo’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, “the evidence was really week from the beginning.”
The Supreme Court also acquitted Arroyo of plunder in July 2016.
Photo from AP/Nikkei Asian Review