Ex-Philippine Leader Arroyo Wins Bail
A Philippine court on Wednesday granted ex-president Gloria Arroyo bail, saying the charge of vote fraud for which she has been detained for eight months is weak.
The Pasay City regional trial court, which is hearing the case, said Arroyo could be released from the military hospital where she is being detained as soon as she posted bail of one million pesos ($23,800).
“The court believes that the prosecution failed to establish with the required quantum of proof, that conspiracy exists on the part of accused Arroyo,” said the court’s bail order, which was released to the media.
“Accordingly, accused Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is allowed to post bail for her provisional liberty in the amount of one million pesos.”
However the court said she could not leave the country.
Arroyo, 65, was arrested at an exclusive hospital shortly after immigration authorities blocked her at Manila airport while trying to leave the country in November.
Arroyo was charged with “electoral sabotage,” a crime punishable with life in jail, for allegedly conspiring with a feared political warlord to rig the 2007 senatorial elections.
Her successor, Benigno Aquino, had vowed to have her brought to justice for many acts of corruption he alleged she committed during her nine years in office that ended in 2010.
Arroyo has also been charged with corruption for approving an allegedly graft-tainted contract to set up a national government broadband system as well as siphoning off $8 million in state lottery funds.
One of Arroyo’s lawyers, Ferdinand Topacio, told AFP that courts where these other two cases were being heard had not issued any order that she be detained.
Topacio said Arroyo’s family would pay the bail for the vote fraud case immediately.
“We do not see any other legal obstacles that would prevent her from walking (free) today. We expect her to be home today,” Topacio told AFP.
A spokesmen for Aquino said a comment on the developments would be issued later Wednesday.