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Drama as Arroyo's exit is blocked at airport

In an extraordinary chain of events, the Supreme Court overturned the Justice Department and allowed Gloria Arroyo to leave the country for medical treatment. But when she arrived at the airport, the government in turn defied the Court and turned her back.

  • Philippines
  • November 16, 2011
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The Philippine government has defied a Supreme Court ruling that allowed former President Gloria Arroyo to travel abroad for medical treatment.

Mrs Arroyo, who says she is suffering from a bone disease, was prevented from boarding a plane at Manila airport.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court ruled that a travel ban imposed by the government was unconstitutional.

Mrs Arroyo faces corruption claims, and the government fears that if she leaves the country she will never return.

The 64-year-old arrived at the airport in an ambulance and - wearing a neck brace - was taken by wheelchair to the departure hall within hours of the Supreme Court ruling.

Mrs Arroyo and her husband had reportedly been due to fly out to Singapore and then on to Spain where she would receive treatment for a life-threatening bone disease, following three unsuccessful spine operations this year.

But immigration officials were ordered to prevent the couple from getting on a plane. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the government intended to appeal the court decision.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Arroyos would be treated with dignity but "we will be firm in our decision not to allow them to leave the country".

Full Story: Philippines: Gloria Arroyo is stooped from boarding plane

Source: BBC News Asia
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