Arroyo camp won’t stop release of mug shots?

by Ira Pedrasa, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Nov 21 2011 02:11 PM | Updated as of Nov 22 2011 02:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines - It will be up to the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) whether to release the mugshots of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, lawyer Jose Flaminiano said.

Arroyo’s counsel said “we won’t bother to file a motion regarding that issue,” when asked if they will attempt to stop any moves to have Arroyo’s photos released.

Arroyo was served an arrest warrant last Friday after the Pasay court found probable cause in the electoral sabotage case filed against her. Her mug shots were taken at St. Luke’s Hospital in Taguig, where she has been confined since Tuesday night.

This morning, however, the Pasay court clarified that the mug shots of the former president will not be released unless both the prosecution and defense agree.

A criminal law expert, however, told abs-cbnNEWS.com that a mug shot remains the property of the police and is not public property.

The lawyer said a mugshot only becomes public in nature if it is submitted in court. A mugshot is required after a person is charged and arrested.

The next hearing on the electoral sabotage case will be on Friday, November 25.

Flaminiano said the Arroyo camp has asked the trial court to quash the warrant of arrest against the former president.

“He [lawyer Benjamin Santos] has filed a motion seeking to set aside the issuance of a warrant of arrest for lack of probable cause,” Flaminiano said.

He said they will ask the court to make another judicial notice of probable cause “which will result in the quashing of the warrant of arrest.”