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Former Philippine Leader Gloria Arroyo Arrested


A copy of the arrest warrant served on former president and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is shown to media at St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig City, Manila, November 18, 2011

A copy of the arrest warrant served on former president and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is shown to media at St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig City, Manila, November 18, 2011

Former Philippine President Gloria Arroyo has been arrested in her hospital room on electoral fraud charges, the latest in a high-profile case heightened by the former leader's attempt to leave the country for medical treatment.

A Philippine official who served Ms. Arroyo with an arrest warrant Friday said the former leader would be permitted to remain in the hospital in Manila, where her aides say she is receiving treatment for a bone disease. She has been in the hospital since Tuesday night after she and her husband were stopped at the Manila airport and prevented from leaving because of the ongoing investigations.

The warrant, which prevents Ms. Arroyo from leaving the country, was issued hours after the Philippines election commission approved fraud charges against the former Philippine leader. The maximum penalty for the crime is life imprisonment.

The justice department has been investigating Ms. Arroyo for alleged vote rigging in the 2004 and 2007 polls. She and her husband are also being investigated for alleged corruption involving government contracts.

Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is seen with a neck brace as she arrives on a wheelchair for a flight to Hong Kong at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, Manila November 15, 2011

Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is seen with a neck brace as she arrives on a wheelchair for a flight to Hong Kong at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, Manila November 15, 2011

Ms. Arroyo, the country's second female president who is now a congresswoman, has long been accused of corrupt acts during her time in power from 2001 to 2010. The 64-year-old has denied any wrongdoing.

Ms. Arroyo will be the second former Philippine leader to face trial. Her ousted predecessor, Joseph Estrada, was sentenced to life in prison for corruption, but she later pardoned him.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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