Gloria Arroyo being persecuted? Palace tosses question to Sandiganbayan

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Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo arrives with husband, Jose Miguel, at the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court in Quezon City, Metro Manila, April 11, 2012. Arroyo entered a plead of not guilty to allegations of graft and corruption in the tainted telecommunications deal with China in 2007. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)

Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo arrives with husband, Jose Miguel, at the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court in Quezon City, Metro Manila, April 11, 2012. Arroyo entered a plead of not guilty to allegations of graft and corruption in the tainted telecommunications deal with China in 2007. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES – Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)

MANILA, Mar 9 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Monday played coy about the case filed by British lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney against the Philippine government over the continued detention of former president and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a text message, presidential spokesman Secretary Edwin Lacierda did not give a direct answer when sought comment on the case filed before the United Nations.

Instead, Lacierda just said that Clooney was “doing her job as a lawyer.”

“What more can we say?” the Palace official said.

Asked for Malacañang’s response to Clooney’s position that Mrs. Arroyo is a victim of political persecution, Lacierda responded: “Perhaps one should ask the Sandiganbayan that question.”

The Sandiganbayan anti-graft court is currently hearing a plunder case in connection with the alleged misuse of P366-million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds during Arroyo’s presidency.

On Sunday, Mrs. Arroyo’s lawyer, Modesto Ticman, confirmed that Clooney filed the case last month before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD), a body under the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Clooney, wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney, wants Mrs. Arroyo to be released from her detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City. (MNS)

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