MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – The Sandiganbayan rejected the appeal of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to recall the arrest warrant issued against her on Thursday, October 4.
But Mrs Arroyo has checked in at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, where she was previously held under hospital arrest. The former president has been staying in their La Vista residence in Quezon City since she was released on bail on July 25, 2012 over a separate case of electoral sabotage filed against her before a Pasay court.
The police led by Senior Supt Jigs Coronel were able to serve the warrant on her at around 4pm Thursday, according to sources in the hospital.
Sources in Veterans said Mrs Arroyo has been in the hospital since Thursday morning. She was with her lawyers Anacleto Diaz and Raul Lambino, and spokesman Elena Bautista Horn.
Coronel said the former president “was very cooperative,” with the entire process taking 40 minutes. “She was wearing an IV, no other family members there. She was lying down,” Coronel told reporters.
Mrs Arroyo is considered “a detainment prisoner while undergoing medical treatment,” Coronel added.
In a resolution signed by the 3 justices of the Sandigabayan’s First Division led by Justice Efren de la Cruz, the court said it saw “no urgent reason to modify” the warrant that it earlier issued against her.
On behalf of Mrs Arroyo, lawyer Diaz asked the court Thursday morning to reconsider its decision to issue the warrant. At around 3 pm Thursday, the court handed down its resolution rejecting Diaz’s motion.
The Sandiganbayan’s First Division issued the warrant against Mrs Arroyo Thursday morning. Copies of the warrant were given to the Philippine National Police (PNP) shortly before noon.
The PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has formed at least 5 teams to arrest the co-accused of former President Arroyo.
CIDG deputy director for operations Senior Supt Keith Singian said the teams were deployed throughout Metro Manila and nearby provinces to serve the arrest warrants against former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes office (PCSO) general manager Rosario Uriarte, Sergio Valencia, Manuel Morato, Raymundo Roquero, Jose Taruc V, Ma. Fatima Valdes, former Commission on Audit chairman Reynaldo Villar, COA Region V head Nilda Plaras, and PCSO assistant general manager for finance Benigno Aguas. Singian said the teams went to the addresses indicated in the Sandiganbayan arrest order.
At least 3 have expressed intent to surrender but Singian withheld their names at this time. “Actually that is based on our information that there is more or less three (who will surrender) but so far we have not received any report from the CIDG-NCR if that is positive,” Singian told reporters.
Singian also could not confirm reports that Taruc had left the country.
The warrant stems from the P366-M plunder case filed against Mrs Arroyo by the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged misuse by the Arroyo administration of PCSO’s intelligence funds. – Rappler.com
For related articles, read:
- Timeline: Arroyo and her electoral sabotage case
- Sandiganbayan: Why was Arroyo released?
- Arroyo bail: Forgive and forget?
- Arroyo, 9 others charged with plunder
- Comelec broke rules to charge Arroyo
- Graft court summons Arroyo doctors
- Court stops plunder hearing vs Arroyo
- Witness vs Arroyo credible, says Comelec