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Arroyo completes bail hearing for graft raps; no mugshots

/ 02:45 AM March 28, 2012

Former President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s bail hearing for graft cases was held Tuesday in her detention room at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.

Arroyo, who is detained at the hospital on charges of electoral sabotage, faces the new graft charges   in connection with the canceled $329 million National Broadband Network deal with China’s ZTE Corp.

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She  was fingerprinted and made to sign forms before officials of the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division led by clerk of court Joffre Zapata.

The Sandiganbayan had allowed the former President to complete her bail processing at the VMMC because having her go to the antigraft court would have required a lot of security preparations and expenses.

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No mugshots were taken but she was required to submit photographs.

These steps completed the processing of her bail. The process took about 20 minutes.

Last week, Arroyo’s lawyer posted bail of P70,000 for three criminal cases stemming from the NBN-ZTE deal.

Arroyo posted bail after the court issued arrest warrants against her and her co-accused, who are her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo, former elections chief Benjamin Abalos and former Transportation and Communication Secretary Leandro Mendoza.

Arroyo’s posting of bail in her graft case does not mean that she will be freed as her other  charge of electoral sabotage is a nonbailable offense.

Zapata said Arroyo was joined by her lawyers when the court staff took her fingerprints and had her fill out the necessary forms.

Not much discussion

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“The [former] president was quiet,” he said.

He also said there was not much discussion during the process. He engaged mostly in small talk with the lawyers.

Zapata also earlier explained that the Sandiganbayan does not take mugshots because it is not part of court procedures. An accused is just required to submit pictures showing the front, left and right of his or her face.

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TAGS: Crime, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Government, Graft and Corruption, Justice, law, Sandiganbayan
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