GMA Mugshots Surface on the Net
Front view, right side view, and left side view photos of the former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo surfaced on the net and made it to the front page of a leading daily newspaper today.
Even as the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) handling Arroyo’s electoral sabotage case has banned the release of the mugshots of the former president who was formally charged and arrested last Friday, copies of her photos made their way to the internet and were picked up by the local media. The photos could only have come from any one of the agencies sharing access to the Arroyo case files. These agencies are the Southern Police District (SPD), the Criminal Intelligence and Detection Group (CIDG), and the Pasay RTC.
According to SPD’s Senior Superintended James Bucayu, Arroyo’s arresting officer, it was the CIDG who took the mugshots as part of the booking procedures done in the confines of the former president’s hospital suite at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig. Although he denied that the photos were leaked from his office, he attests to the authenticity of the photos. Investigations are now ongoing to determine the source of the leaked photos. He said that anyone who is found guilty of releasing the photographs would be properly sanctioned with the maximum penalty of separation from service.
Speaking to the press over the weekend, one of the Arroyos’ lawyers, Atty. Ferdie Topacio asked for the court’s compassion in keeping the mugshots of the former president away from public eyes. Let us treat the former president with respect, kawawa naman may sakit na nga e,” Topacio said. This prompted some members of the press to remind him of the fact that during the time of the previous administration, ousted former president Joseph Estrada was booked and photographed in police custody even while in an ailing state.
Looking at the mugshots, they do not seem to show the former president in an even more degrading state. Cropping the inscriptions at the bottom part of the photos with her case details would make the photos just like any other ordinary photo. Put side by side with other photos that have surfaced over the past weeks showing her in a “pitiful” state, her mugshots are actually better-looking.
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