Arroyo to stay in hospital after police took her mugshots-A A +A
Saturday, November 19, 2011
MANILA (2nd update 7:32 p.m.) -- Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will have to stay at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City after authorities took her mugshots, fingerprints, and handprints on Saturday afternoon.
It would be better if the current Pampanga representative remains in confinement because of her current health conditions, Arroyo’s doctor Juliet Gopez-Cervantez said.
"She should stay probably for a few more days or a week," Gopez-Cervantez said, adding that the lawmaker hasn’t completely recovered from the surgeries.
Some risks may be incurred if Arroyo decides to travel since the bone on her neck still has to regain its original strength, Gopez-Cervantez added.
Arroyo's attending physician also clarified that the former chief executive is "not in a life-or-death situation."
"Objectively speaking, she is not in that condition, however we don’t know what’s in store for her," she said. "As of now there are some risks but not that high. She can travel on an airplane but there are some risk and limitation."
When asked how soon can Arroyo recover and leave the hospital, Cervantes replied: “We will see.”
She made these remarks during a briefing held at the hospital after Arroyo's mugshots, fingerprints, and handprints were taken in her hospital room at around 3:30 p.m.
Arroyo had been confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center since Tuesday after she and her husband, Jose Miguel, tried but failed to leave the country. The couple attempted to fly to Singapore via Hong Kong hours after the Supreme Court issued an order that allowed them to travel abroad without seeking permission from the Department of Justice.
Arroyo was "booked" after Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas issued an arrest warrant against her, former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., and former election supervisor Lintang Bedol on Friday.
She was ordered arrested after the Commission on Election (Comelec) filed electoral sabotage raps against them in connection with alleged irregularities in the 2007-mid-term polls.
During the same briefing, Philippine National Police (PNP) Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel said Arroyo was very cooperative while a police team took her photos, mugshots, and ten sets each of her fingerprints and handprints.
The whole process ended at 3:40 in the afternoon, said Coronel, who facilitated the process together with a team composed of personnel from the PNP's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Southern Police District (SPD).
Those who witnessed the procedure include Arroyo's husband, Jose Miguel, son Dato, currently a congressman, several relatives, and friends.
Arroyo’s camp earlier requested to provide her mugshots but Coronel insisted on having her photograph taken by a PNP technician.
The mugshots and the photos were taken while she was sitting on her bed in a reclined position. Arroyo's nameplate were held up by the technician while she was being photographed because Arroyo was "not capacitated" to hold the plate herself, Coronel said.
She was wearing her neck brace and a standard hospital gown while friends and relatives witnessed the technician taking the mugshots.
The mugshots, which was still in digital form while the press conference was held, will be submitted to the Pasay City Regional Trial Court on Monday. It will be up to the court to release the pictures or not, Coronel said.
"We submit to the sound discretion of judgment in the court to this matter. We will present it to the court with the information that the accused, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is under arrest,” Coronel said.
Earlier, Ferdinand Topacio, the lawyer of Arroyo's husband, said that their camp already asked the police to withhold the release of the ex-President's mugshots.
"Let's treat the former president with the respect due her,” the lawyer said in an earlier briefing. "Let's not further humiliate her considering na may sakit sya."
However, Coronel said that authorities have yet to receive the request from the Arroyo camp. But he nevertheless said that the police will launch an investigation should the mugshots be leaked and/or are released before these are submitted to the court.
Arroyo's fingerprints, handprints, and mugshots will then be submitted to the sala of Judge Mupas.
In a related development, Topacio also disclosed that they will be filing next week an urgent motion before the Supreme Court (SC) for the issuance of another temporary restraining order against the joint DOJ-Comelec panel that investigated the 2007 poll fraud allegations.
It was the same panel that filed the charges against Arroyo, Ampatuan and Bedol before the Pasay Regional Trial Court. (Kathrina Alvarez/AH/Sunnex)