And this time it has nothing to do with Manny Pacquiao. Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo tried to leave the Philippines on Tuesday, ostensibly to seek medical treatment for a “bone ailment” but she was not allowed to leave the country because she’s under investigation and they were afraid that once she left she wouldn’t return. So she went to a hospital (unnamed) and her lawyers went to the Supreme Court, which issued an order allowing her to travel, but then a lower court issued a warrant for her arrest which led to the government ignoring the Supreme Court’s travel order, which among other things makes the Philippines Supreme Court not seem very supreme at all. Tonight, she was arrested in her hospital room on charges of election fraud. She’s accused of having “direct knowledge” of election fraud in “an autonomous Muslim region in the southern Philippines, the country’s poorest and notoriously corrupt region, where ballot boxes are switched en masse and voters paid or threatened to abstain.” (quoted from the NY Times.) The charges carry a maximum sentence of 40 years.
The president before GMA was Joseph Estrada, a former actor who went the Reagan route, was simultaneously elected President and Vice President, impeached on charges of corruption, tossed out of office when people took to the streets to protest, later found guilty, pardoned by GMA and ran for President again in 2010 – and actually got some votes.
All of this would almost be more entertaining than popular TV show Eat Bulaga if most of the country wasn’t living in poverty.