THE Pasay City Regional Trial Court has cleared former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of electoral sabotage charges in connection with alleged cheating in the 2007 midterm election.
Her lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio yesterday confirmed this development to reporters.
According to Topacio, the case was dismissed after Pasay City RTC Branch 112 granted the former leader’s demurrer to evidence (motion to dismiss).
“Wherefore, for the 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 favor of said accused, the Demurrer to Evidence is granted and the charge ‘Electoral Sabotage’ against accused Arroyo is hereby ordered dismissed,” the dispositive portion of the ruling, which was signed by Judge Jesus Mupas, read in part.
Also, the court ordered the immediate return of Mrs. Arroyo’s P1 million bail bond which she posted for her provisional liberty in light of the ruling.
A demurrer to evidence is filed after the prosecution rests its case and the defense camp is given the opportunity to move for the dismissal of the case.
Arroyo, along with former Maguindanao election officer Lintang Bedol, was tried for the electoral sabotage case filed against them before the Pasay City court over alleged cheating in the 2007 midterm election.
The hearing of the case has been going on for over seven years since it was filed in November 2011.
The court allowed Arroyo to post bail, despite electoral sabotage being a non-bailable charge, after the prosecution – the Department of Justice – failed to present strong evidence against her.