Gloria Arroyo now under hospital detention

An arrest warrant against former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo et al has been issued by the Pasay Regional Trial Court Branch 112.

Judge Jesus Mupas found probable cause that Arroyo, along with former Commission on Elections officials, may be liable for poll rigging. Apart from Arroyo, an arrest warrant is also out against former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., former Comelec election supervisor Lintang Bedol, and former Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos.

“Mrs. Arroyo is compelled to stay in the country, and face the charges of electoral sabotage filed against her, bringing us closer to uncovering the truth behind the controversies surrounding the 2007 elections,” said DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima.

Based on Republic Act No. 6646, electoral sabotage constitutes altering of votes during an election, tampering numbers on “large scale or in substantial numbers.” It is punishable by life imprisonment.

Prior to being served the Warrant of Arrest, the Pampanga Representative together with her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo, made a number of attempts to leave the country on the strength of a Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Supreme Court. They were stopped by immigration officials because of a hold departure order issued by the Department of Justice.