MANILA – Policemen arrested anew former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in connection with charges of plunder allegedly arising from the misuse of government funds while in office.
She was arrested last week in the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City where she has been confined for spine ailment.
The Sandiganbayan had earlier issued a warrant for the arrest of Arroyo and her co-accused who are charged with diverting P350 million (roughly $8.8 million) from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s (PCSO) charity fund for personal gain.
It was noted that the warrant was issued a day after she filed her certificate of candidacy for re-election to Congress.
Arroyo, 65, was president of the Philippines from 2001 until 2010. She is currently a lawmaker in the House of Representatives.
She is suffering from a spine-related ailment and is confined in the hospital for dehydration, it was reported.
She is also charged with electoral fraud in connection with polls in 2007 and corruption and kickbacks in connection with an aborted broadband deal with a Chinese company.
She has denied all the charges and has accused President Aquino of waging vendetta against her. Aquino had said that bringing the former President to justice is part of his anti-corruption campaign.
Aside from Arroyo, also ordered arrested in connection with the plunder charges were Sergio Valencia, former PCSO board chairman; Rosario Uriarte, former PCSO vice-chairman and general manager; and Manuel Morato, Jose Taruc V, Raymundo Roquero and Ma. Fatima Valdez, all former members of the PCSO board of directors.
Reports stated that Taruc left the country last July via a Cathay Pacific plane.
“As to the other accused, manhunt operations are already being conducted,” a police official said, adding that authorities have received surrender feelers from some of them. (Manila reports)