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Suspension of Arroyo’s plunder trial extended to 90 days

From 30 days, the Supreme Court (SC) has extended to 90 days the suspension of the trial of former President and Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for plunder charges.

The High Court issued the ruling after Arroyo filed a petition seeking the reversal of the Sandiganbayan 1st Division’s ruling last February dismissing her petition for bail.

In its decision, the SC extended the 30-day status quo ante order (SQAO) it issued last month preventing the Sandiganbayan from hearing the case until February 19, 2016.

The case involved the alleged misuse of the P366-million intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Arroyo is presently detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC).

Also last October, the United Nations (UN) Technical Working Group on Arbitrary Detention recommended Arroyo’s release, saying her continued detention is arbitrary and illegal under international laws.

Arroyo cited her deteriorating health in asking SC to reverse the rulings of the Sandiganbayan.