Arroyo pleads not guilty
Vows to fight all charges against her at arraignment hearingGloria Macapagal-Arroyo (in neck brace) escorted by police outside the court after her arraignment (photo: Cynthia Yalung)
- ucanews.com reporters, Manila
- February 23, 2012
Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pleaded not guilty today to charges of electoral fraud.
Arroyo, who appeared relaxed despite still wearing a neck brace, entered her plea during an arraignment hearing at a courthouse in Pasay City.
Now a congresswoman, Arroyo arrived from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City where she has been staying under hospital arrest.
The court has allowed her to stay there following a request by her lawyers who insist she needs treatment for recurring back pains.
‚ÄúDespite the continuous and massive vilification campaign against me and my family, I have always said that I will dispute all charges at the proper forum,‚ÄĚ she told reporters.
‚ÄúI am submitting myself to this process not only to clear my name but also as part of my commitment to respect and abide by the rules and orders of our courts,‚ÄĚ she added.
President Benigno Aquino‚Äôs spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, said Arroyo's arraignment ‚Äúbrings us one step closer toward attaining closure to the many controversies that hounded our country during the previous administration.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIt is our goal to see she has her day in court under a fair and impartial system of justice. We must remain mindful of how in the past there were those who moved heaven and earth to prevent this day from arriving,‚ÄĚ Lacierda said.