MANILA, Philippines (Nov. 19, 2011) – The police shall take mugshots and fingerprints of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a day after the former president , accused of non-bailable offense of electoral sabotage, was served a warrant of arrest in her hospital room.
Last night, Senior Superintendent James Bucayu, officer in charge of the Southern Police District who served the warrant, told the press that they were deferring the booking of the former president in consideration of her physical condition at the time of the arrest, adding that she would be booked “when she is ready.”
In Bacayu’s description, GMA was quietly lying in bed, occasionally nodding as she listened to the reading of the charges.
Ferdinand Topacio, her legal counsel, received the warrant in her behalf.
It is not clear whether the police is amenable to the request floated by the Arroyo camp that they take the mugshots and just provide the police with the photos.
Bacayu also added that they were prepared to bring the former president to the Southern Police District detention center, but they would do that only if she resisted arrest.
But things as they are the free movement of GMA is already effectively curtailed.
“ The Southern Police District has taken custody of the person of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. If she likes to go anywhere, she has to ask the permission of the court,” Bacayu said.
Visitors shall be allowed but they shall be required to sign a logbook. Two policemen shall be posted at the entrance of Arroyo’s suite and an undisclosed number of police personnel shall be posted outside the hospital building. The police has also checked and secured all possible points of exit at the St. Luke’s Medical Center.
The police’s soft treatment of Arroyo complies to an order of President Benigno Aquino III relayed from Indenesia, where he is attending the ASEAN summit, to treat the arrested former president “with utmost respect.”