Philippines' Ex-leader Arroyo: 'I Was Persecuted'

Philippines' ex-leader Arroyo: 'I was persecuted'

MANILA, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th july,2016) - Former Philippine president Gloria Arroyo has declared herself a victim of political persecution, following her release from nearly five years in detention over a corruption case. In her first public comments since being freed from a military hospital on Thursday after the Supreme Court dismissed plunder charges against her, Arroyo insisted her detention was "unjust".

The court found "insufficient evidence" to accuse her of stealing 366 million pesos ($8.8 million) in state lottery funds meant for charity programmes while she was in office between 2001 and 2010.

"This whole thing of (using) political power to persecute political enemies, this must stop. I must be the last victim," Arroyo told ABS-CBN television over the weekend. "I don't wish what happened to me on my worst enemies." Arroyo was jailed in 2011 under the administration of then president Benigno Aquino, who sought to make his predecessor a high-profile scalp of his anti-corruption campaign.

Firebrand leader Rodrigo Duterte succeeded Aquino in June, and offered to pardon Arroyo.