MANILA, Philippines - A number of senators, even her critics, are calling on the Aquino government to allow former President Gloria Arroyo to seek medical treatment abroad.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile told reporters on Monday he visited Arroyo last week and found her pale and "very sick." He said she was wearing head and neck braces, and that she could die if the braces snap.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, an Arroyo critic, also believes Arroyo should be allowed to go abroad, saying the Justice Department has no power to restrain anyone's right to travel.
"If she really needs medical attention, dapat talaga payagang umalis para magpagamot. After all, buhay pa rin ng tao 'yan, no matter who he or she is," he said.
Senate Majority Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. agreed with their fellow senators.
In a statement, Revilla said it would do more harm than good if Arroyo's condition worsens in the country.
"It is a Constitutionally guaranteed right of every Filipino to travek. What she is invoking is a right. She is not seeking a privilege," said Revilla, an Arroyo ally.
Revilla added that there are measures to ensure that Arroyo will return, including deploying government escorts and vigilance from the media.