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Ex-President Gloria Arroyo subjected to police booking

After making several flight bookings and subsequent cancellations last week, the camp of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Saturday afternoon witnessed another "booking process" for the former leader – this time, before police authorities. Mrs. Arroyo underwent police booking, which normally includes taking of fingerprints and mugshot. The process was done at the St. Luke's Medical Center (SLMC) in Taguig City, a day after an arrest warrant for electoral fraud was served against her. Personnel from the Southern Police District and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group arrived at the hospital about 1:30 p.m. to start the booking process, a report on GMA's 24 Oras said. The report said Mrs. Arroyo, along with her husband former First Gentleman Jose Miguel and close relatives, first heard Mass before proceeding with the booking procedure. "The former President was wearing a neck brace at the time the mugshot was taken," said CIDG chief Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel. The police official assured the public that Mrs. Arroyo was given "the courtesy and respect accorded a president." The report said the digital copies of the photographs and fingerprints will be submitted on Monday to the Pasay court hearing the poll sabotage case against Mrs. Arroyo. Supplemental motion Mr. Arroyo's lawyer Ferdinand Topacio at a press conference said their camp will be filing before the Supreme Court on Monday a supplemental petition to their urgent motion seeking to declare as illegal the joint panel that investigated the former president's alleged involvement in the 2007 electoral fraud Mr. Arroyo's camp is asking the high court to issue yet another temporary restraining order (TRO) against any "legal effects" of the actions of the joint panel.
The panel, composed of members of the Department of Justice and the Commission on Elections, on Friday filed electoral sabotage charges against Mrs. Arroyo and two others before a Pasay City court, which in turn issued an arrest warrant shortly after. "Isusumbong po namin sa Korte Suprema ang ginawa sa amin... Hihingi kami uli ng TRO para ipa-suspend ang all legal effects ng [actions] ng joint DOJ-Comelec panel," Topacio said. Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court released a TRO against the watch list orders (WLOs) issued to the Arroyo couple. The justices affirmed this decision Friday when they junked the Justice department's motion for reconsideration. Apart from questioning the WLOs, Mr. Arroyo's camp still has a separate and pending petition questioning the legality of the joint DOJ-Comelec probe itself. The results of the panel's fact-finding arm reportedly prompted Justice de Lima to issue the WLOs by virtue of Department Circular No. 41 issued in May 2010 allowing the DOJ to issue such an order. This circular is also being contested by the Arroyos. On Tuesday, the DOJ, through the Immigration agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, blocked the Arroyo couple's attempt to fly to Singapore to seek medical treatment. Hours after the Tuesday's failed attempt to leave the country, Mrs. Arroyo was brought to the SLMC due to ill health. — LBG/ELR, GMA News