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Ex-PCSO head insists on bail for P366M plunder case
Ex-PCSO General Manager Rosario Uriarte said she should be “immediately” granted bail following the finality of the Supreme Court ruling finding that the prosecution's evidence for the case is weak. File
MANILA, Philippines — Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General Manager Rosario Uriarte has again asked the Sandiganbayan to allow her to post bail for a plunder case in connection with the alleged misuse of P366-million confidential intelligence fund of the PCSO during the term of former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In her 10-page supplemental motion filed before the anti-graft court's First Division, Uriarte said she should be “immediately” granted bail following the finality of the Supreme Court ruling finding that the prosecution's evidence for the case is weak.
Uriarte in December last year asked the First Division to allow her to post bail or be placed under house arrest. ShUriarte cited in her motion the SC's July 19, 2016 decision dismissing the case against the primary accused Arroyo as well as against former PCSO budget and accounts manager Benigno Aguas due to “insufficiency of evidence” of the prosecution.
Uriarte also cited her frail health condition as she is undergoing chemotherapy for a breast tumor.
The First Division, in its February 20 ruling, however, denied Uriarte' motion for being “premature” as the SC ruling, at that time, was still under appeal by the Office of the Ombudsman's prosecution team.
The First Division also said Uriarte's health concerns were being addressed by the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City where the court had earlier allowed her to be confined for six to 10 months for her “chemotherapy, surgery and other possible treatments.”
In her supplemental motion, Uriarte pointed out that the SC, in its April 18, 2017 ruling, has already dismissed with finality the plunder case against Arroyo and Aguas, thus, the Sandiganbayan can now consider granting her bail.
“Accused Uriarte submits that bail may already be immediately granted to her, or the case against her be dismissed outright, on the basis of the above findings of the Supreme Court, even sans [her] physicians' testimonies,” Uriarte said in her supplemental motion.
The plunder case stemmed from the alleged misuse of the PCSO's confidential intelligence fund from 2008 to 2010.
Uriarte said that the SC, both in its July 2016 and April 2017 rulings, maintained that the prosecution failed to prove the existence of conspiracy among her, Arroyo and Aguas as well as to show that they had amassed, accumulated or acquired ill-gotten wealth of any amount
“There was no evidence, testimonial or otherwise, showing even the remote possibility that the Confidential Intelligence Fund (CIF) of the PCSO had been diverted to either accused Arroyo, Aguas or Uriarte,” her supplemental motion read, quoting the SC's July 2016 ruling.
Uriarte went into hiding abroad for almost four years while the Sandiganbayan was hearing the case. She only surfaced late last year after the SC dismissed the case against Arroyo.