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Philippine Court Says Arroyo Arrest for Plunder Stands

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.

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