MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) – Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband Mike left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at around 9:35 p.m. after they were not allowed to leave for Singapore via Hong Kong by immigration officials.
|Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo arrives on a wheelchair with her husband Jose Miguel (L) for a flight to Hong Kong at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila November 15, 2011. REUTERS
Mrs. Arroyo left the airport onboard an ambulance and arrived at St. Luke's Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City around 9:50 p.m.
Arroyo used the hospital’s exit to enter the hospital.
A black Toyota Fortuner was seen following Arroyo’s ambulance after leaving the airport.
Arroyo’s son Congressman Mikey Arroyo was also seen at the hospital.
Arroyo’s husband criticized the Aquino administration for preventing them from leaving the country.
"We were not allowed to leave...This is persecution. Kawawa naman asawa ko, may sakit siya, ganun ang trato nila sa may sakit," the former First Gentleman said.
He said immigration officials told them they were acting on orders of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Arroyo lawyer Ferdie Topacio said they are considering filing contempt charges against those who stopped the Arroyos from departing, including De Lima.
“Walang galang itong pamahalaang Aquino sa legal process,” he said.
Topacio said Mrs. Arroyo suffered stress from the government's actions.
Atty. Raul Lambino, legal spokesman of Mrs. Arroyo, expressed frustration over the government’s decision to bar the Arroyos from departing the country.
“Nakakadismaya ang ganyang klaseng posisyon ng pamahalaang Aquino, ng Secretary of Justice at ng Bureau of Immigration na lalabagin nila ang Saligang Batas at nilabag nila ang kautusan ng Korte Suprema,” he told radio dzMM
“Ito ay nangangahulugan lamang na binabale-wala nila ang mga institusyon natin dito para lang masunod ang mga kagustuhan nila kahit labagin na nila ang Saligang Batas at labagin nila ang karapatan ng mamamayang Pilipino,” he added.
Lambino said they are studying their options.
Arroyo and her husband arrived at NAIA Terminal 1 at around 8:10 p.m. for a scheduled Dragon Air 9:30 p.m. flight to
Singapore via Hong Kong after the Supreme Court gave them clearance to leave.
However, De Lima said the executive branch had yet to receive a copy of the Supreme Court's decision so the watch list order stands. -- With a report from Charlie Mendoza, radio dzMM