MANILA, Philippines – Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's camp is set to file an urgent motion for the court to allow her to seek medical treatment abroad, a court official said on Tuesday.
Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 112 spokesperson Felda Domingo said Arroyo lawyer Raymond Santos had notified the court that his client will file an urgent motion next week seeking to allow the former president to have medical surgery abroad.
Domingo said the Arroyo camp decided to file the motion next week since Judge Jesus Mupas, the presiding judge over the former president’s electoral sabotage case, is on leave until Friday.
Arroyo ally Occidental Mindoro Rep. Amelita Villarosa earlier said the former president is in pain and is on a soup diet because of her condition.
She said the protrusion of Arroyo's titanium implant on her neck into her esophagus is preventing the former president "from eating, swallowing and breathing properly."
The former president and current Pampanga congresswoman last year was barred by the government from leaving the country November last year.
The government later filed electoral sabotage raps, a non-bailable charge, against her and several others for the alleged rigging of the results of the 2007 mid-term elections.
Gov’t to block Arroyo exit try
President Aquino on Monday said he would block any efforts by Arroyo to leave the country, saying that she no longer has credibility over purported life-threatening illnesses.
“If the court allows her to leave, then we will do something to make sure that justice won’t be delayed,” Aquino said.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes, meanwhile, said it would be risky to allow the former president to leave the country, who is currently detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
Brillantes said Arroyo’s attending physicians and government doctors must first certify that the former president indeed has a life-threatning condition.
“Baka naman meron tayong medical facilities to do it? Everybody should remember that this is an electoral sabotage case which is a capital offense, napaka-risky na palabasin natin siya,” Brillantes told dzMM.
“We have to talk to her doctors, and government doctors, and if necessary once na-determine kung anong sakit 'yan, baka pwedeng pumunta dito yung espesyalistang kailangan.” - with a report from Johnson Manabat, dzMM