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MANILA: Former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is still qualified to seek another term in the House of Representatives even as she has been ordered arrested for alleged plunder, a non-bailable offence.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes said that the former president is qualified to run because she has not been convicted.
“She’s qualified to run. There are others who are in jail but still win a seat. So it’s okay,” Brillantes told reporters in the sideline of the last day of filing of certificate of candidacy for senator at the Comelec main office in Manila.
Arroyo returned as a patient-detainee at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City on Thursday after she was ordered arrested by the Sandiganbayan First Division on plunder charges for the alleged misuse of P366m ($8.13m) intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Arroyo walked out of the VMMC last July after she was allowed to post a P1m ($22,000) bail for the electoral sabotage case filed by the Comelec last November.
Arroyo could face life in jail if found guilty. Prosecutors have strong evidence against Arroyo to get her convicted of plunder, President Aquino said yesterday. “We don’t file a case that we don’t believe to have strong evidence, ” Aquino said.
The Philippine Star