Ombudsman preparing Arroyo plunder case resolution

Posted at 09/21/2012 12:27 AM | Updated as of 09/21/2012 11:33 AM

MANILA, Philippines- The Ombudsman's resolution on the plunder case against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be ready for submission at the Sandiganbayan within the next 2 weeks, Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan said Thursday.

The resolution, together with other court documents and evidence, will be the basis of the Sandiganbayan in deciding whether to issue a warrant of arrest against the former President, Rafanan said.

The plunder case involves Arroyo's alleged diversion of P360 million Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) operational funds into illegal intelligence funds.

Plunder is a non-bailable offense that comes with a penalty of life imprisonment.

Meanwhile, the Ombudsman on Thursday sponsored a conference between Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member-countries to discuss eliminating corruption in the business industry level.

For the conference held at Dusit Hotel in Makati City, participants from various nations are expected to draft an "anti-corruption code" that will be implemented by APEC member-countries to curb bribery and other forms of corruption.

'Corruption worse than prostitution'

In her welcome remarks, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said "Corruption is worse than prostitution for the latter might endanger morals of an individual while the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country."

She added that in a sense, there is the power of the people to place pressure on establishments to maintain a clean business record.

"This is similar to the call of environmental groups to boycott the products of companies that scandalously contribute to pollution" she said. "It is about time the market dictates not just competitive prices but also a bribery-free business climate."