MANILA, Philippines (Nov. 22 2011) – The mugshots of arrested ex-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that are now circulating in the Web are the same as the copies now in possession of the Pasay Regional Trial Court.
Senior Superintendent James Bucayu, acting chief of the Southern Police District (SPD), said that their investigator confirmed to him that the mugshots provided to them by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and those posted bywww.mugshots.com are the same.
Bucayu, meanwhile, denied that mugshots leaked from the SPD. He added that he has ordered an investigation into the mugshots' distribution in the Internet.
He said that after Mrs. Arroyo's booking last Saturday, he issued an order to all the units involved not to leak the mugshots to the media.
He reiterated that only the Pasay City Regional Trial Court, where Mrs. Arroyo's electoral sabotage case is pending, has the sole authority to allow the release of the booking photos.
Earlier, Interior and Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo denied the authenticity of the mugshots that are circulating in the Internet.
Bucayu, however, was sure about the authenticity of the spreading mugshots of Mrs. Arroyo.
He said that only the SPD, CIDG and the Pasay City local court has copies of the mugshots.
Bucayu had said that the mugshots were taken by members of the CIDG at the hospital suite of Mrs. Arroyo at St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig City last Saturday afternoon.
He said that Mrs. Arroyo was sitting on her hospital bed and was assisted by lady police officers during the whole process. He said the lady police officers also took the former president's fingerprints.
The police officer had described Mrs. Arroyo during the taking of the mugshots as wearing a hospital gown and a neck and head brace. He added that the nameplate with the criminal case number was held by a lady police officer during the photo-taking process.
The camp of Mrs. Arroyo had pleaded to the media not to release the mugshots to the public out of courtesy to a former president.
"If you get a copy, please don't shame her. We appeal to everyone's sense of discretion on decency," lawyer Ferdinand Topacio told reporters on Saturday.
He added that the former president should be treated "with the dignity due her as a former head of state."