Former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was arrested Thursday on plunder charges, the latest of the series of corruption cases brought against her, Reuters reports.
Mrs. Arroyo was allegedly involved in misusing $8.8 million (336 million pesos) from the state lottery funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel of the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation Group told reporters that Mrs. Arroyo would be allowed to stay overnight at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center where she was undergoing treatment for “hypertension and dehydration” until a court decides where she would be detained.
The ailing Arroyo had been in hospital arrest in November 2011 over allegations of elections sabotage following her dramatic encounter with immigration authorities at Manila’s main international airport, where she had been blocked after attempting to leave the country to seek overseas treatment. She was released as a regional court allowed her to post bail. Plunder charges, however, are are punishable by life imprisonment and are non-bailable.
Mrs. Arroyo also faces graft charges over a million dollar-deal with China’s ZTE Corporation in 2007. According to the Financial Times, the arrest signifies that President Benigno Aquino’s anti-corruption campaign “remains on track” and would likely further boost the administration’s popularity and investor confidence in the country.