Palace says GMA can't escape accountability

Posted at 02/23/12 11:55 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang welcomed Thursday the arraignment of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on electoral sabotage charges.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Mrs. Arroyo's arraignment brings the country closer towards attaining closure to many of the controversies that affected the previous administration.

"It is our goal to give her a day in court under a fair and impartial system of justice. At this time of reckoning, it is incumbent upon all of us to remain vigilant and observe this process as it unfolds. We must remain mindful of how in the past there were those who moved heaven and earth to prevent this day from arriving," he said.

He added: "Accountability escapes no one. This is the very foundation of the rule of law: The scales of Justice should tip towards no one; her blindfold must continue to shield the system from being susceptible to the temptations of pandering to those with power and influence."

Mrs Arroyo entered a not guilty plea when she appeared in court on Thursday for the first time since being charged with rigging an election. She faces life in jail if convicted of conspiring with Andal Ampatuan Sr. to rig the 2007 senatorial elections.