Court orders 3rd arrest of ex-Philippine president

AP News
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Posted: Oct 04, 2012 12:42 AM
Court orders 3rd arrest of ex-Philippine president

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine anti-graft court on Thursday issued an order to arrest former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for a third time on charges of plunder for allegedly misusing state lottery funds during her last years in office.

Arroyo's defense lawyers questioned the charges, and it wasn't clear if she will be immediately arrested.

The ailing Arroyo, who is suffering from neck pain, spent about eight months in detention in a hospital on a separate election sabotage case before she posted bail in July. She has also posted bail in another case against her that stems from a botched overpriced deal with a Chinese telecommunications company.

She has accused her successor, Benigno Aquino III, of pursuing a political vendetta. Aquino has accused Arroyo of graft and promised to rid the Philippines of corruption.

The government has denied Arroyo's request to seek medical treatment abroad, saying she may not return to face the charges.

Arroyo's lawyer Anacleto Diaz said Thursday that the witnesses against her had no personal knowledge of the alleged diversion of $8.8 million from the lottery from 2008 to 2010. The charges allege the money was diverted for personal gain.

Both of the other cases are ongoing with witness testimony under way.