The Supreme Court (SC) has cleared former President Gloria Arroyo of any culpability with regard to graft charges in connection with the $329-million NBN-ZTE national broadband deal.
What it did was to uphold the earlier acquittal of Mrs. Arroyo by the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.
Mrs. Arroyo was accused by prosecutors of graft for approving the allegedly overpriced telecommunications project with the Chinese firm Zhong Xing Telecoms Equipmen, which would have interconnected government offices nationwide, for personal gain, despite its numerous defects.
The Sandiganbayan held that the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence to support its claim that the deal – which was approved by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) that was headed at the time by Mrs. Arroyo – was grossly disadvantageous to the government.
Also previously cleared by the Sandiganbayan of graft in the instant case were Mike Arroyo, the President’s husband and former Commission on Elections chairman Ben Abalos Sr.
Photo: Philippine Star