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Ex-Pres. Arroyo arrested: Timeline of day that was

November 18, 2011 11:16pm

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was arrested on Friday for electoral fraud, which carries a life sentence, at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig, Metro Manila, preventing her departure from the country to seek medical treatment.

She is the second former President of the Philippines to be arrested on criminal charges filed in court. The first was her predecessor, Joseph Estrada, whom she pardoned after conviction on plunder charges.

President Benigno Aquino and his government have long accused Arroyo of corruption during her two terms in office, from 2001-2010, though until Friday, authorities had not formally charged her.

"She is now under our control, under our custody," Senior Superintendent Franklin Bucayu, head of the Southern Police District, told a news briefing outside St Luke's Hospital.

"The arrest warrant has been served. We tried to read her rights but her lawyers waived it because of her conditions. She smiled at us and she was expecting it."

The arrest warrant had been issued earlier in the day, just after the government lost a bid to reverse a Supreme Court ruling allowing Arroyo to travel abroad.

Police said Arroyo's family, her lawyers and some members of her cabinet were at her side in the hospital when the warrant was served.

November 18, 2011
(time stamps are based on GMA News tweets)

11:26 a.m. – The Comelec-DOJ panel investigating the alleged massive election cheating in the 2007 senatorial elections filed election sabotage charges against former President Arroyo, former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and former Comelec election supervisor Lintang Bedol. The Comelec asked for a hold departure order against the three.

11:54 a.m. – Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the poll body did not rush in deciding to file the electoral sabotage charges. He said the joint panel’s recommendations were received by the Commission on Nov. 16.

12:12 p.m. – Electoral sabotage case was raffled off to RTC Branch 112 Pasay Judge Jesus Mupas.

1:16 p.m. – The high court, voting 8-5 in a special en banc session, stays and reiterates the TRO it issued last Tuesday.

3:25 p.m. – Lacierda said the TRO is not yet final and executory because Arroyo’s legal team has yet to comply with some conditions stated in the TRO.

4:04 p.m. – Pasay Regional Trial Court Judge Jesus Mupas found probable cause in the complaint filed in his sala and issued warrants of arrest against Arroyo, Ampatuan, and Bedol.

4:09 p.m. – Pasay court turned over arrest warrants to the Pasay City police. National Capital Region Police Director then ordered the Southern Police District to serve the warrants of arrest on Arroyo at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City, Ampatuan at the Bicutan detention facility, and Bedol at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

4:25 p.m. – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Mrs. Arroyo is compelled to remain in the country to face electoral sabotage charges.

4:33 p.m. – Arroyo decided not to proceed to the NAIA, canceled Singapore Airlines flight reservations.

6:30 p.m. – Arroyo was arrested on electoral sabotage charges filed before the Pasay Regional Trial Court by the Comelec and DOJ.

- Sr. Supt. James Bucayu led the Southern Police District (SPD) team that served the warrant of arrest on the former President while she lay on the hospital bed in St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig.

- In the hospital room was the former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo and Arroyo’s legal team. The SPD posted two personnel outside the hospital room to stand guard and keep Arroyo in police custody.

- Bucayu said the arresting team read the contents of the arrest warrant to Arroyo who, upon her lawyers’ advice, waived the reading of the former President’s rights as an accused in a criminal case—also known as Miranda rights.

- Bucayu also said the other steps in the booking process, including the taking of the mug shots and fingerprinting will be done the next day at the hospital at a convenient time for the former President.

On Twitter, here is how some of the tweets flowed from morning until evening:

What went on before Nov. 18

June 16, 2011
Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo (RGMA) was rushed to the St. Luke's Medical Center after complaining of neck pain. In a medical bulletin, doctors said the former president has "cervical spondylotic radiculopathy" – a pinched nerve in her cervical spine was causing the pain in her neck. The ailment is not life threatening and is common among people aged 50 and older, although it could lead to paralysis if left untreated.

Her doctors have said that she's had the condition even when she was still President, only now the pain in her neck has become unbearable. They advised her to rest and wear a neck collar.

June 19, 2011
RGMA was seen wearing a neck brace/collar during the renewal of vows of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and husband Arthur Santiago. It was taken off when Arroyo joined the procession of sponsors.

July 16, 2011
RGMA and husband former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo returned to the country from a trip to Europe.

July 25, 2011
RGMA attended the opening session of Congress in the morning but skipped President Aquino's State of the Nation Address in the afternoon, opting instead to visit her constituents in Pampanga. Later that day she was again rushed to St Luke's Medical Center in Taguig because of neck pain.

July 29, 2011
RGMA underwent an operation on her cervical spine. The operation (alterior cervical decompression and fusion or ACDF) included the insertion of titanium implants to correct the alignment of her cervical bones.

August 5, 2011
Doctors at St. Luke’s discharged RGMA. Her doctor, Dr. Juliet Cervantes, disclosed that she advised RGMA to rest for a month and refrain from speaking.

August 9, 2011
RGMA was readmitted to SLMC because the titanium implants dislodged.

This same day, DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima placed RGMA in the Bureau of Immigration watch list citing several plunder complaints filed against her. (Watchlist Order No. ASM-11-237)

De Lima noted that there were three plunder complaints against the former president undergoing preliminary investigation: a.) a case filed by Danilo Lihaylihay on the anomalous sale of Iloilo airport property b.) a cased filed by Francisco Chavez on the OWWA fund misuse; and b.) a cased filed by Chavez on the fertilizer fund scam [see: Plunder cases filed against GMA]

August 10, 2011
RGMA underwent a second surgery to remove the cervical implants and to put new implants. She was made to wear a halo vest.

August 23, 2011
The former president was supposed to undergo a third surgery but the doctors did not push through with the operation because RGMA had a fever.

August 24, 2011
RGMA underwent a third operation. The surgery that lasted for five hours involved inserting a titanium mesh and titanium plate in RGMA's cervical spine (bone grafting)

September 2, 2011
RGMA was discharged from SLMC.

September 6, 2011
DOC issued a revised watchlist order against Arroyo

September 14, 2011
RGMA was readmitted for a CT scan. Her halo vest was removed and replaced with a Minerva Brace.

September 15, 2011
RGMA was discharged from the hospital.

October 1, 2011
Dr. Julia Gopez-Cervantes issued a medical certificate saying RGMA has "metabolic bone disease and osteoporosis due to hypoparathyroidism with electrolyte imbalance and Vitamin D deficiency. Cervantes further stated that "barring any complications, [RGMA] should be fully recovered from her spine surgery in six to eight months. Her metabolic bone disease needs lifetime maintenance treatment.

October 19, 2011
The House of Representatives issued an amended travel authority for RGMA for the period October 22-December 5 to the US and Germany and to include Singapore, Spain and Italy, to seek medical consultations with specialists.

October 20, 2011
Arroyo filled a written request before the DOJ for the issuance of an allow-departure order (ADO)

October 21, 2011
Arroyo submitted an affidavit listed down only three destinations – Singapore, Germany and Austria.

October 24, 2011
Arroyo again filled a written request before the DOJ for the issuance of ADO.

October 27, 2011
Another watchlist order was issued against the former president, this time, based on two electoral sabotage complaints against her.

October 28, 2011
DOH Sec. Ona visited RGMA at her La Vista residence in Quezon City. The purpose of the visit was to determine whether RGMA's condition is life threatening and whether her condition will deteriorate if she is not allowed to seek expert medical treatment abroad.

Ona later reported to DOJ that "Mrs. Arroyo is recuperating reasonably well".

November 2, 2011
RGMA submits a detailed itinerary to DOJ showing that she intends to seek medical consultation in Singapore (October 24, 2011, October 31, 2011 and November 8, 2011), Germany (November 17, 2011) and Spain (November 14, 2011)

November 8, 2011
The Arroyo camp asked the Supreme Court to nullify the watchlist order against them.

November 8, 2011
DOJ denied the request of Arroyo for an allow-departure order (ADO) [view document]

November 15, 2011
The Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order on the implementation of the department circular no. 41 and the watchlist orders, voting 8-5 .

Later that night, the Arroyos were barred from leaving the country by the immigration officials in NAIA, who were following the order of Secretary de Lima. The Pampanga representative was then brought to SLMC.

November 16, 2011
The former president postponed her planned trip today citing fluctuating blood pressure.

November 17, 2011
Arroyo petitioned the Supreme Court to order the DOJ and BI to allow her to leave the country. RGMA again postponed her trip.
— with Reuters/MRT/ELR, GMA News




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