MANILA, Philippines - A lawyer is offering P50,000 - the alleged price of a one-day stay in the presidential suite of St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig -- for original copies of the mugshots of detained former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Lawyer-activist Argee Guevarra wrote a letter to Philippine National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome, asking if he could purchase 1 set of duly certified GMA mugshots. He said he plans to use the mugshots for a "Wall of Shame" gallery in his law office.
"Having twice been arrested, booked and imprisoned by the Pidal National Police during GMA's reign on charges of sedition and rebellion, I am no stranger to actual booking procedures and I know for a fact that the PNP makes at least 5 sets of photos representing the left, front and right profiles of someone who is criminally charged," he said in his letter.
"I am sure that the PNP has made more than 20 sets of mugshots of GMA which will be used for court-records purposes. All I ask is for one set of mugshots. And besides, the PNP will retain the negatives."
Arroyo was booked on electoral sabotage charges last Saturday while staying at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig. Copies of the alleged mugshots circulated on the Internet earlier this week but the PNP said the pictures were fake.
Guevarra was arrested with Randy David and now National Political Adviser Ronald Llamas in February 2006 while leading a Laban ng Masa protest march against the former president along EDSA, which coincided with GMA's declaration of a State of Emergency.
Malacanang's then Public Information Office subsequently produced a government video entitled "Taksil sa Bayan" which was regularly televised on government TV stations and used as propaganda video which played inside AFP theaters before soldiers depicting Guevarra and other leftists as enemies of the state.
On November 29, 2007, Guevarra was again arrested, booked and detained at the Camp Crame Detention Center with Vice-President Teofisto Guingona, Bishop Julio Labayen, BGen. Danny Lim and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and other anti-GMA personalities for his involvement in the Manila Peninsula Rebellion.
Guevarra said that aside from Arroyo's pictures, he also plans to put up mugshots of "prominent GMA cronies who have lied, cheated and plundered from the people and whom he hopes to be dragged soon before the bar of justice."
"GMA's arrest should help restore our faith in the country's justice system which was reduced to 'Just Tiis' s during GMA's reign of kleptocratic impunity. Seeing her mugshots should symbolize the vindication of the people's struggles against her rule and should help bring about psychological closure to the countless victims whose lives she ruined for nine long years," he said in a statement.
"More importantly, it serves as a graphic reminder and familiar warning to all those who are in power about the truism in jeepney tantra: 'GOD KNOWS HUDAS NOT PAY,'" he added.