Arroyo thanks Duterte for SC's junking of plunder case against her

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Former President and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 9) — Former President and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo gave President Rodrigo Duterte credit for the dismissal of the plunder charges against her in connection with the alleged misuse of charity funds during her term.

"Most of all, I thank you that when you became president, you provided the atmosphere in which the court had the freedom to acquit me of the trumped up charges of my successor and your predecessor," she said at the appreciation dinner she hosted for lawmakers Tuesday, where Duterte attended.

The Supreme Court in July 2016 acquitted Arroyo of plunder, shortly after President Duterte assumed Office.

"So that the court voted 11 to 4 in my favor, including half of those who were appointed by my successor," she added.

She was arrested in October 2012 -- during the term of her successor, President Benigno Aquino III -- on charges that she misused ₱366 million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) from 2008 to 2010. The former president and speaker was detained at the Veterans Memorial and Medical Center for four years.

Arroyo also thanked Duterte for supporting her foray into politics, from her candidacies as senator to president.

"I thank you also for the active help you gave me in fighting drugs, kidnapping and all the threats to peace and stability when I was president. And after that, I thank you for describing me as a friend, both during your campaign for the presidency and after you were elected," he said.

Arroyo stepped down from the speakership at the end of the 17th Congress, as Pampanga 2nd District Representative. On Monday, Duterte endorsed Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as Arroyo's successor.