Ombudsman charges Gloria Arroyo, 9 others with plunder

The Ombudsman on Monday, July 16, 2012, filed a P366-million plunder suit against former President Gloria Arroyo relative to the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds during her term.


Reports said the case was filed with the Sandiganbayan. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales reportedly approved the filing of the lawsuit on Friday, July 13.

Also in the plunder charge sheet are nine former PCSO and Commission on Audit (COA) officials, namely: former PCSO chairman Sergio Valencia, former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte, former members of PCSO board Manuel Morato, Jose Taruc V, Raymundo Roquero, and Ma Fatima Valdes; former PCSO budget officer Benigno Aguas, former COA chairman Reynaldo Villar, and former COA officer Nilda Plaras.

Plunder, a non-bailable capital offense, is punishable by reclusiĆ³n perpetua (permanent imprisonment). The length of sentence is an indivisible penalty of 40 years.

ReclusiĆ³n perpetua does not allow pardon or parole until after the first 30 years of the sentence have been served. After 40 years without pardon or parole, the sentence ends.