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Philippines: Former President Arrested

Dramatic attempts by former Philippine President and current congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to escape the country have sparked public outrage on Twitter and other social networking sites.

Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo have attempted to leave the country several times these past few days, claiming she was only seeking medical treatment abroad. These attempts were blocked, reportedly because the Arroyos were under investigation for plunder, human rights violations, and electoral fraud controversies under her term as president. Arroyo was president from 2001 to 2010.

The Noynoy Aquino government's failure to prosecute Arroyo even after more than 500 days in office has been blamed for the former president's almost successful attempts to flee the country.

A warrant of arrest for “electoral sabotage” has been issued against Arroyo after the Philippine Supreme Court has ruled that she must be allowed to travel overseas because no charges have been filed against her. Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:

@teddycasino: It is with utmost joy that we welcome the issuance of a warrant of arrest against GMA. Since 2005 we have been trying to make her account for her cheating, stealing and lying ways. This is a vindication of our efforts. But the work has just begun. There is the difficult legal battle ahead and more cases that have to be filed in court. We laud the COMELEC, DOJ and Pasay RTC for their swift and decisive action. (author's note: Comelec is election agency, DOJ is Department of Justice)

@hgcastillo: I wonder what GMA is feeling right now…

@KikoHubilla: GMA is trying to leave the country to avoid all the accusations against her.

@gibbscadiz: the outcome was good–arroyo charged–but the getting there was as ad hoc, incompetent, amateurish as it could get; nothing to be proud of.

@monsieurearl: Ikulong na yan si GMA! Walang awa awa!

@monsieurearl: GMA should be jailed! No mercy!

@NielZapanta: Whenever there's a flash news about #arroyoarrest, it looks like a teleserye. Abangan ang susunod na kabanata….

@NielZapanta: Whenever there's a flash news about #arroyoarrest, it looks like a soap opera. Watch out for the next episode…

@w3ncy: #itlognitopacio saved by this afternoon's developments on the CGMA arrest.

@carloshconde: Today was not political will in action. It was desperation, w/ govt fully aware that there would be hell to pay if Arroyo managed to leave.

The hashtag #ArroyoArrest has been trending on Twitter worldwide after Arroyo's arrest warrant has been served Friday evening. The hashtag #itlognitopacio also trended after the Arroyos’ legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio wagered that he will have one of his testicles removed if the Arroyos do not return from overseas.

Thumbnail used is from Twitpic page of @HecklerForever. Photo is from TV reporter Jove Francisco

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