Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was arrested in her hospital room on electoral fraud charges today, in a high-profile tug of war set off by her attempts to leave the country, ostensibly for medical treatment. In a drama that has galvanized the Philippines, Arroyo, 64, sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a head and neck brace, was turned back Tuesday night from boarding a flight out of Manila. Authorities said she was still under investigation and might become a fugitive. Arroyo denies any wrongdoing.
The Supreme Court earlier today upheld her right to travel, but the government ignored the order and a lower court where the formal charges were filed later issued an arrest warrant that effectively bars her from leaving. Arroyo has been recovering in a hospital since her failed attempt to leave the country Tuesday, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said she will remain confined to her hospital room. The charges stem from allegations that Arroyo conspired with officials to tamper with results of 2007 congressional polls to favor her candidates.