A number of officials during the Arroyo administration have a lot of explaining to do at the anti-graft court. The Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday finds probable cause to file charges against them over the P900-million Malampaya fund scam. Former officials at the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and representatives of non-government organizations (NGOs) are facing plunder, graft and fund malversation charges.
Former President now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not in the charge list.
The complaints against Arroyo, former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, former DAR officials Dominador Sison, Jr. and Nilda Baui were dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Meanwhile, Arroyo's camp said they consider this development as the "latest victory."
"It's the perfect way to end the year and to start the new one. We hope that we have seen the last of these frivolous complaints against the former president," the former President's lawyer Laurence Arroyo said in a statement.Former first gentleman Mike Arroyo's lawyer and spokesman Ferdinand Topacio said the latest development affirmed the cases against the former president are mere political noisemaking, "made purely for media effect by those who would profit to destroy her good name and besmirch her achievements as Chief Executive.
Under Presidential Decree 910, the Malampaya fund is a special fund to finance the government's energy resource exploration, development and exploitation programs and projects and such other purpose as may be directed by the President.
It is collected from the government's share in royalties, rentals, production share on service contracts and other payments on the exploration, development and exploitation of energy resources
By Fiona Nicolas and AC Nicholls, CNN Philippines
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