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MANILA: Former Philippine leader Gloria Arroyo was moved to intensive care yesterday to stop her suffering a possible heart attack, a week after being arrested in hospital on graft charges, authorities said.
The 65-year-old suffered chest pains on Thursday and tests showed her heart was not receiving enough blood due to blocked arteries, said Nona Legaspi, director of the Manila military hospital where Arroyo is being detained.
Legaspi said Arroyo was suffering from ischemia -- a restriction in blood supply to the heart -- which can lead to a cardiac arrest if not treated properly.
“Every condition of the heart should be treated with urgency,” Legaspi told reporters, adding that given Arroyo’s condition she should not leave hospital for a scheduled court appearance on Monday.
Legaspi said Arroyo could not be detained elsewhere, as government prosecutors want, until doctors ruled she was fit to leave the hospital. “The patient is not dischargeable at this time,” she said.
Arroyo was due for an initial court appearance next week on the charge that while in power she plundered about $8.8m in state lottery funds to finance her election campaigns. She could face life in jail if found guilty.
Arroyo was arrested on October 4 at the military hospital, where she was being treated for a long-term spinal illness, and has been under police detention there since.
Arroyo ended her near-decade in power in 2010 as one of the country’s most unpopular presidents, amid allegations she had cheated to win elections, embraced feared warlords as allies and was involved in widespread corruption.