Court orders 3rd arrest of ex-Philippine president

Associated Press Modified: October 4, 2012 at 3:17 am •  Published: October 4, 2012
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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine anti-graft court on Thursday ordered the arrest of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the third corruption investigation against her, this one accusing her of misusing $8.8 million in state lottery funds during her last years in office.

Arroyo's lawyers questioned the charges during oral arguments, and the court said it would take a second look.

The former president, who is suffering from a neck ailment, was detained for about eight months in a government hospital in 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. His ratings remain high, and the cases against Arroyo and her inner circle are meant to highlight the Aquino administration's determination to restore public and investor confidence in government.

Officials have 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 transactions of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. The charges allege that money from the agency's intelligence funds was diverted for personal gain from 2008 until Arroyo stepped down in 2010.