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Technical Malversation Case against Gloria Arroyo
« on: October 25, 2012, 10:25:02 AM »
By Perfecto Raymundo

The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed for lack of evidence the technical malversation case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and 11 others in connection with the alleged misuse of P530 million funds intended for overseas Filipino workers.

The dismissal order was contained in a 47-page memorandum and an 11-page supplemental memorandum approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales dated June 14, 2012 and Oct. 12, 2012 respectively.

Aside from Arroyo, the Ombudsman also ordered the dismissal of the case against former president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation Francisco Duque III;

Former Executive Secretary Alberto Romulo; and former Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Chairman of the Board of Trustees Patricia Sto. Tomas, and former OWWA Board of Trustees Members Virgilio Angelo;

Manuel Imson, Rosalinda Baldoz, Mina Figueroa, Caroline Rogge, Victorino Balais, Gregorio Oca and Virginia Pasalo.

Duque is the current Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, Romulo was the former Foreign Secretary and Baldoz is the incumbent Labor Secretary.

The Ombudsman reversed the findings of the Dept. of Justice, citing lack of evidence against the 12 respondents.

It said the funds could not have been used for the re-election of Arroyo because it was actually released in 2005 or a year after the May 2004 presidential elections.

"The truth that the OWWA Medicare funds were released only in 2005 or after the election in 2004, and only subsequent to the issuance by the OWWA Board of Resolution effecting the transfer of the funds and with the effectivity of the IRR of EO 182 as amended, only prove that respondents Duque, Macapagal-Arroyo and the OWWA Board never intended that the OWWA Medical funds be diverted for purposes other than to benefit the Filipino Overseas Contract Workers," the 47-page memorandum said.

The Ombudsman also noted the reports from the Commission on Audit dated Feb. 28, 2006 and March 15, 2007 which confirmed that the P530 million OWWA funds were transferred to the PHIC and used for the benefit of the OFWs.

Likewise, the Ombudsman also cleared Arroyo for approving the release of US$ 293,500 OWWA funds.

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