Police arrested former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Thursday and temporarily detained her in a hospital on corruption charges, in her third indictment and second detention since stepping down two years ago.
The Philippine anti-graft court ordered her arrest for allegedly misusing US$8.8 million in state lottery funds during her last years in office. The court earlier denied a motion by Arroyo’s lawyer questioning the basis of the charges in a bid to block the arrest order.
Police served the arrest warrant on Arroyo, who is suffering from a neck ailment, at government-run Veterans Memorial Medical Center, where she was earlier admitted for dehydration, Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel said.
He said Arroyo was cooperative with the arresting officers.
He said Arroyo would remain in the hospital overnight and police would await a court order on whether she should remain detained at the hospital, in a regular jail or in another government facility.
The former president was detained for about eight months in the same hospital in a separate case involving alleged election rigging before she posted bail in July. She has also posted bail in another case related to a botched overpriced deal with a Chinese telecommunications company.
The charges against Arroyo in the most recent case allege that money was diverted from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s intelligence fund for her personal gain from 2008 until she stepped down in 2010.
Nine others have also been accused and are facing arrest. Several have informed police they will surrender, Coronel said.