Sandiganbayan won't order Arroyo's re-arrest

Posted at 07/27/2012 4:33 PM | Updated as of 07/27/2012 5:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 2) - The Sandiganbayan will not order the re-arrest of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo pending resolution of a motion for reconsideration on the plunder case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman.

In a 6-page resolution issued Friday, the anti-graft court noted that many of the accused in the plunder case filed by the Ombudsman have either just received or have yet to receive the review joint resolution finding probable cause to file the complaint.

The division granted Mrs. Arroyo's motion to defer judicial proceedings pending resolution of Arroyo's MR and other possible motions of the accused before the Ombudsman.

"The Ombudsman is hereby ordered to resolve the said motions with dispatch," the resolution said.

The Ombudsman earlier asked the court to issue an arrest order for Mrs. Arroyo after she and 9 others were charged with the plunder of P360 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed the charges on July 16. The Arroyo camp has said they received a copy of the plunder complaint only on July 20.

Mrs. Arroyo was freed on bail Wednesday after a Regional Trial Court judge deemed the evidence in the electoral sabotage case against her as weak.

President Aquino expressed dismay over Pasay Regional Trial Court branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas’ decision, saying the judge used a very high standard of proof for the bail petition.

The Commission on Elections has already filed a motion of reconsideration, questioning the judge’s decision.

On Friday, Mrs. Arroyo left a health and wellness center in Tagaytay to visit her father's grave at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Taguig City.

She prayed for a few minutes at the Libingan's adoration chapel then left for the Veterans' Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) for her regular therapy.

She then proceeded to Porac, Pampanga where she received a warm welcome from her constituents. "Kahit nung nasa ospital ako, kayo ang iniisip ko," she told residents.