GMA won’t do mugshots ala Erap
Moving her to the Sandiganbayan to post bail would pose security concerns and entail more expenses

MANILA, Phiippines – She won’t do an Erap.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo prefers to have her bail application processed at the presidential suite of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) where she is presently detained on a separate election sabotage charge.

The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division yesterday granted Arroyo’s request that a court official be sent to the VMMC to process her bail. Otherwise, she would have had to go to the Sandiganbayan to post her P70,000 bail bond on criminal charges — just like what deposed President Joseph Estrada did in 2001.

The prosecution made no objections.

Now serving a 3-year term as congresswoman of Pampanga, Arroyo was given 5 days to send her lawyers or a representative to post the required P70,000-bail bond in her behalf.

The amount is the sum set by the court for the two counts of graft (RA 3019) and a single charge for violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713) filed against her on Dec 28, 2011. These were in connection with the scrapped $329-M national broadband network project proposal of ZTE Inc.

Associate Justices Jose R. Hernandez, Ma Cristina J. Cornejo and Gregory S. Ong, division chairman, signed the 2-page resolution.

Less expensive

The court noted that Arroyo “was placed under hospital confinement on account of a medical problem or condition” and that “there would be less government expense and less security concern” if the bail process was done at the VMMC. This is a better arrangement compared to having to physically move her to the Sandiganbayan to post bail.

Upon payment of the bond, the Sandiganbayan said it will issue the necessary order for the court personnel to proceed to the VMMC to take Arroyo’s finger prints, fill-up her information sheet, and to get her signature on the bail undertaking.

In 2001, the Arroyo government sent about 3,000 policemen to Estrada’s home in San Juan to arrest him and bring him to the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame. His mugshots were taken there before he was locked up.

Estrada was also paraded before the media as he went to all 5 divisions of the Sandiganbayan to get his finger prints taken for inclusion in his case records.

He was later transferred to a detention cell inside a police camp in Sta Rosa, Laguna surrounded by high walls ringed with barbed wires. –



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