5 Oct 2012

Former president under arrest on plunder charges

5:55 am on 5 October 2012

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines is under arrest on charges of plunder, in one of a series of corruption cases against her.

She is accused of taking public funds amounting to 366 million pesos ($US8.8 million) by diverting lottery funds for personal gain.

Mrs Arroyo, 65, who has a spine condition, was detained on Thursday in hospital where she was being treated for dehydration.

Police say she will be kept at an army hospital where she was held earlier this year on other charges.

Another former Philippine President Joseph Estrada was pursued by the Arroyo administration under the same Plunder Law. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, but was pardoned a short time later.

She also faces accusations of graft over an proposed $US329 million national broadband deal with ZTE Corp. of China in 2007. She denies all charges and posted bail on both cases. However the charge under the Plunder Law is a non-bailable offence.

Mrs Arroyo was president from 2001 - 2010.