Gloria Macapagal Arroyo freed from jail


Ex-Philippines president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo waves to her supporters after being released from a military hospital in Manila on July 25, 2012. Arroyo walked free from eight months in detention after a court issued a surprise ruling granting her bail, saying a vote rigging case against her was weak.



Former Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was released on bail Wednesday after a judge found election rigging charges against her weak.

A smiling Arroyo walked out of a military hospital today wearing a neck brace and holding her grandson's hand. According to The New York Times, she had been detained in the hospital — where she had undergone three operations on her neck — for eight months, and left in a van that took her through a handful of protesters to her home in the Manila suburb of Quezon City. Arroyo posted a bond of 1 million pesos, approximately $24,000, for her release.

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"It is a reaffirmation of what our camp has been saying all along: that the charges against the former president are as thin as the soup made from boiling the shadow of a chicken that has been starved to death," said Ferdinand Topacio, a lawyer on her legal team, paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln in a statement, reported the Times.

Judge Jesus Mupas ruled that evidence presented by prosecutors was not strong enough to deny Arroyo bail, according to the Associated Press. Court spokeswoman Felda Domingo said that while on bail, Arroyo cannot leave the country and needs permission from the court to visit her district in the northern province of Pampanga.

Arroyo was arrested and ordered detained at the military hospital in December of last year, reported the Philippine Star. She was charged with electoral sabotage in connection with the alleged widespread cheating in the 2007 elections.