Philippines arrests Gloria Arroyo on plunder charges

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Media caption,
The BBC's Kate McGeown: "This is a real setback for her because she'd just been able to get out on bail"

Former Philippine President Gloria Arroyo has been arrested in hospital on plunder charges for allegedly misusing state funds while in office.

A court had issued an arrest warrant for Mrs Arroyo, who is accused of diverting $8.8m (£5.5m) from the state lottery charity fund for personal gain.

Police served the warrant while she was at an army hospital, officials say

She was detained earlier this year on a separate election fraud charge but released on bail in July.

The warrant came a day after she filed papers seeking re-election to congress.

Mrs Arroyo, 65, was president of the Philippines from 2001 until 2010. She is currently a lawmaker in the House of Representatives.

"When we arrived at the hospital, she was lying on the bed with an IV attached to her," police officer Joel Coronel told reporters.

Mrs Arroyo, who suffers from a spine-related ailment, is in hospital for dehydration, reports say.

Aside from plunder, she also faces charges over electoral fraud in connection with polls in 2007, as well as corruption over an aborted broadband deal with a Chinese company.

She has denied all the charges and has accused President Benigno Aquino - who said that bringing her to justice is part of his anti-corruption campaign - of having a vendetta towards her, says the BBC's Kate McGeown in Manila.

Plunder is a non-bailable offence in the Philippines and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Mrs Arroyo was first arrested in November 2011 after trying to leave the country to seek medical treatment.