FINALLY justice is served!!!

That’s the public’s general sentiment over the Supreme Court decision to release former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from detention.

That it was the SC that corrected an injustice to this embarrassing episode of our justice system cannot be more refreshing.

And it could not have come at a better time since it came weeks after the new President was inducted to office and less than a week before delivers his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) cannot be more reassuring.


GMA as she is popularly known is the second President of the country to be incarcerated. The first was former President Joseph Estrada.

GMA, though, stayed longer in detention, more than four years, as Erap received pardon from GMA after two years in hospital arrest.

GMA stayed longer in hospital arrest as President PNoy would not offer pardon and GMA would not accept if ever offered. GMA’s reason: Pardon is accepting guilt to a crime that GMA said she did not commit.

But she stood pat on her claim that her detention was politically motivated, and she was determined to prove her innocence before the court of law and embarrass former President Benigno Aquino III, for the latter’s lack of sense of fairness.


Throughout her ordeal, GMA succeeded in attracting international attention to the country’s justice system.

Others said that her travails were a result of both politics and family matters, alluding to Cojuangco family’s control over Hacienda Luisita.

Obvious, though, is the fact that GMA’s incarceration could not be supported by evidence of a crime, instead, was a product of a court too afraid of a President who has impeached a Chief Justice.


Sources inside the Supreme Court claim that the decision to dismiss the plunder case against GMA was reached during the last months of PNoy’s administration.

“But the SC justices would not dare offend the sitting President, after all, PNoy used hundreds of millions of DAP funds to unseat a Chief Justice,” same sources said.

PNoy did not only succeed to paralyze traffic, he also had top marks in paralyzing the justice system with threats of impeachment if not dismissal from the bench.

That the justices waited until PNoy was out of office before making public their decision, speak volumes of our justice system that bows to the powers of the President.

We encourage GMA to go after those who orchestrated her incarceration.

Failure by GMA to do so will send wrong signals to Filipinos and the international community. It is her duty and obligation to reassure the Filipinos that a grave injustice cannot go unpunished.


SC’s landmark ruling on Mrs. Arroyo came barely a month after former President Benigno Aquino III stepped down from office and less than a week before President Rodrigo Duterte, delivers his first State of the Nation Address (SONA.)

The Court's approval of the Arroyo petition in effect acquits her of the P366-million plunder suit filed by the Ombudsman in July 2012 against her and 9 other former government officials.

It is poetic justice therefore that Arroyo’s acquittal also came barely a week before Duterte who favors her release is to deliver his inaugural SONA.


It must be noted that the Ombudsman's suit against Arroyo was filed a week before then President Aquino was to deliver his 3rd SONA.

The filing of the case was seen by many as a gift by the government prosecutors to Aquino so that he could have a trophy to brag about relative to his alleged anti-corruption campaign.

Arroyo was made the poster girl for corruption by the Aquino administration without even giving her a fair chance to fight back.


Arroyo’s incarceration and the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona who subsequently died without having the chance to vindicate himself were clearly the fruits of Noynoy’s poisoned justice system.

The continued detention of Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla is another proof how the country’s justice system has suffered under Noynoy’s hands especially no notable allies of the former administration was ever punished or had landed behind bars even for a day.

People are still waiting for allies of Aquino among them DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, NAIA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali and others who were involved in various complexities, anomalies and irregularities- to be prosecuted and jailed for graft and corruption.


Both Arroyo and CJ Corona became targets of persecution by the Aquino government because they were seen as biggest thorns on its side.

Aquino who represents his moneyed and landed clan had scores to settle against Arroyo and Corona that had to do with Hacienda Luisita, the former President family’s crown jewel.

Aquino’s obsession to punish Arroyo and Corona came after the Corona-led SC granted Hacienda Luisita farmers the lands that have been denied to them by the Aquino-Cojuangco clan.

In 2011, the court directed the Hacienda Luisita Inc. to give the farm workers P1.3 billion as share in the sale of the 500-hectares land to RCBC, as well as 81 hectares of Luisita lands to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).

Arroyo’s earlier decision to appoint Corona as Chief Justice despite expressed opposition from then incoming president was also enough to trigger his extreme hatred to his predecessor.

That was aside from the fact that Arroyo also had a much-publicized falling out with his mother former President Cory Aquino when Arroyo thumbed down several political and personal requests of the Aquino matriarch.


In an article published in Philippine Star, it was gathered that Aquino has already set in motion a plan that would allegedly set-up Arroyo’s conviction before he stepped down last June 30.

Aquino was reportedly set to appoint a Sandiganbayan magistrate to the SC as a reward for the conviction of Arroyo.

The insider said the justice is one of the members of the First Division of the anti-graft court that handled Arroyo’s case and a known member of a religious sect.

But before the Sandiganbayan could move to convict Arroyo, the high court intervened and issued a status quo ante order in October last year stopping the proceedings on the plunder case upon Arroyo’s petition.


As early as May this year, OpinYon already came out with an article written by this writer titled ‘Free GMA’ following calls by local and international legal luminaries for her immediate release.

The groups, including United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) claimed that GMA was being detained based on flimsy and trumped-up charges.

International human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin-Clooney, wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney who has been at the forefront of initiatives to free the former president noted that her continued arrest is illegal and arbitrary.

Clooney even showed an opinion from the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stating that the incarceration of Arroyo is “arbitrary and illegal under international law … with an enforceable right to compensation.”


Legal counsels of GMA however were inclined to believe then that there was no way that she will be given the chance to post bail in the past regime despite their strong legal arguments “because the unseen hands of Aquino government are at play in her case”.

Arroyo was arrested in 2011 for electoral sabotage in the 2007 elections, but was allowed bail in 2012.

But before she could be freed, the Sandiganbayan ordered her arrest for plunder, in connection with the alleged misuse of over P365 million in intelligence funds of the state-run PCSO.


With the SC verdict, GMA is free at last.

The vote was 11-4 in favor of Arroyo's petition to junk a Sandiganbayan ruling that gave the go-signal for her plunder trial in connection with the questioned PCSO fund.

The justices who dissented against Arroyo are Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Justices Marvic Leonen and Benjamin Caguioa. Carpio is an appointee of Mrs. Arroyo.

The 11 justices who ruled in favor of Arroyo are Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr, Teresita de Castro, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza, Bienvenido Reyes, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Francis Jardeleza.


Arroyo’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, said “the Supreme Court has once again proven itself to be the final bastion of justice and the rule of law”.

He added that the ruling validated what they have been saying for six years now: “that the charges against GMA are nothing more than disingenuous attempts at political persecution by a corrupt and inept Aquino administration intent on covering up its gross lack of accomplishments by harassing its political opponents."

Prior to the verdict, the SC already stopped her trial at the Sandiganbayan.

In retrospect, Arroyo however is luckier than CJ Corona because she was able to savor her legal victory and in the process vindicated her name and honor unlike him who passed away without receiving justice that was due him.