World Bulletin / News Desk
Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was detained on Thursday on charges of plunder, a crime which carries a maximum penalty of life in jail, in one of a series of corruption cases brought against her.
Less than three months after she was released on bail following about eight months in detention on charges of election fraud, the latest charge against the ailing Arroyo involves the more serious offence of misusing state lottery funds.
"When we arrived at the hospital, she was lying on the bed with an IV attached to her," Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, told reporters. Arroyo, who suffers from a spine condition, was being treated for dehydration.
Coronel said Arroyo, 65, was "very cooperative" when police took her fingerprints and photos.
The Ombudsman's office alleges that Arroyo and her co-accused of unlawfully acquiring and accumulating public funds amounting to 366 million pesos ($8.8 million) by diverting lottery funds for personal gain.
Another former Philippine President Joseph Estrada was pursued by the Arroyo administration under the same Plunder Law. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, but was pardoned a short time later.
Coronel said Arroyo would remain under confinement at the army hospital where she was held earlier this year.
Arroyo, president from 2001 to 2010, is unlikely to escape detention this time around as the charge under the Plunder Law is a non-bailable offence.
Arroyo also faces allegations of graft over an aborted $329 million national broadband deal with China's ZTE Corp. in 2007. She denies all charges and posted bail on both cases.
President Benigno Aquino's pursuit of charges against Arroyo and the Philippines' success in kicking out her allies -- the Ombudsman and the Supreme Court chief justice -- all within a span of about a year have been cheered by investors as clear signs that the government is serious in its anti-graft agenda.
Arroyo was stopped last year by government agents at Manila's main international airport as she was on her way to board a plane for overseas treatment. ($1 = 41.6050 Philippine pesos)
Hundreds have been injured in Kashmir and troops blocked worshipers from Friday prayers at large mosques for the 11th consecutive week
A fighter jet of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) crashed in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency, spokesman said Saturday.
‘Captain Bram’ accused of masterminding attempt to smuggle 65 to New Zealand last year in boat intercepted by Australia
Turkish deputy minister says gathering an opportunity to express, share ideas at time when world needs unity and solidarity
Situation on the ground reached “equilibrium”, or “stalemate”, Army Gen. John Nicholson says
On Friday, an Ilyushin Il-76 military transport plane delivered the troops to Pakistan from their home base in southern Russia.
Military to continue fight against militants despite Moro rebel call for suspension during talks for hostages’ release
Deputy PM says if transferred, suspect in fatal 2003 Jakarta bombing to undergo deradicalization at Malaysian prison
Many in China are furious after a section of the Great wall was concreted over appearing to be an elevated pathway
India’s decade-long process to acquire new fighter jets is complete when the country signs a deal with France to buy 36 Rafale aircraft expected to be worth €8bn.
Trips arranged as part of Duterte administration’s plans to pursue independent foreign policy
The kingdom's Muslim-majority "deep south", an area bordering Malaysia, has seen near daily bombings and shootings since the most recent wave of rebellion erupted in 2004.
Trudeau confirms Canada exploring free trade agreement with China
US military reveals details of arrival in South Korea of dangerous aircraft, while Seoul ponders bold assassination attempt
‘They must also answer questions from me,’ Duterte says, challenging officials to public debate on his anti-drug campaign
Ny Chakrya accused court officials of corruption, claimed 2 villagers involved in land dispute were unjustly arrested