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Philippine Court Says Arroyo Arrest for Plunder Stands

(Corrects headline and first and second paragraphs to reflect that the Supreme Court corrected its earlier remarks that a restraining order was issued blocking an arrest warrant for Arroyo and halting her trial.)

The Philippine Supreme Court said a temporary restraining order blocking the arrest of suspects in a plunder case doesn’t apply to former President Gloria Arroyo, who was arraigned on the charge today.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Gleo Guerra said the restraining order applies only to Nilda B. Plaras, an audit commission official who was charged along with Arroyo for alleged misuse of charity funds. Guerra corrected a statement made earlier today that the restraining order also applied to Arroyo.

Arroyo was charged in July with diverting 366 million pesos ($8.87 million) of charity funds for personal gain, and has been under arrest in the hospital since Oct. 4. She spent eight months under hospital arrest on separate charges of election fraud before being freed in July because of a lack of evidence.

The former president didn’t enter a plea during her arraignment at the anti-graft court today. The court entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cecilia Yap in Manila at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Klemming at

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