Bayan Muna to press plunder raps vs Arroyo
MANILA, Philippines—The party-list group Bayan Muna Thursday said it would push for the prosecution of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for plunder, this time for her alleged role in the scuttled National Broadband Network contract with China’s ZTE Corp. during her term.
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares said the plunder complaint in connection with the controversial deal was filed by his group on July 1, 2010, or a day after Arroyo, now a representative of her home province of Pampanga, lost her immunity from suit.
Colmenares said the case was filed in the Department of Justice but that the trial had not commenced until now.
“We’ve been pressing [Justice Secretary] Leila de Lima to conduct the preliminary investigation and not throw it to the Truth Commission,” the lawmaker said.
“The case is part of our ongoing campaign against corruption and we will pursue this until Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her cohorts are held accountable and punished,” he said.
The NBN-ZTE deal is one of the six articles of impeachment filed by the House of Representatives against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, an appointee of Arroyo.
Colmenares is part of the 11-member team of House prosecutors who will argue the case in the Senate, which will convene as an impeachment court on May 9.
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