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Kumita sa kulungan! UN panel wants PH gov’t to pay GMA for spending 5 years in jail

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The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UN WGAD) has recommended that the Philippine government pay former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for spending close to five years in jail.

The panel’s recommendation for the payment of damages to Arroyo was disclosed by Philippine Star columnist Carmen Pedrosa based on information from Arroyo’s abogado, Amal Alamuddin Clooney.

The internationally renowned abogado said the UN WGAD’s said Arroyo was entitled to “an enforceable right to compensation” because she had been deprived of her liberty.

The decision, however, did not state how much compensation Arroyo should receive from the Philippine government.

“Mrs Arroyo and her legal team welcome the UN’s expert opinion and urge the Philippine Government to comply with it immediately,” Clooney said in an email to Larry Gadon, one of Arroyo’s abogados in the Philippines.

It was Gadon who shared Clooney’s email to Pedrosa, who wrote about it in her January 5 column.

Arroyo was released from detention in 2016 after the Supreme Court junked the plunder case filed against her concerning her alleged misuse of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s (PCSO) P366-million intelligence funds.

The UN panel found that Arroyo’s detention “was arbitrary and illegal under international law because the Sandiganbayan court failed to take into account her individual circumstances when it repeatedly denied bail, failed to consider measures alternative to pre-trial detention and because of the undue delays in proceedings against her.”

“Further, the Working Group recognized that the charges against Mrs Arroyo are politically motivated, since she is detained ‘as a result of the exercise of her right to take part in government and the conduct of public affairs’ and ‘because of her political… opinion,'” it said.