Philippines` Arroyo ordered out of luxury hospital

Gloria Arroyo has been staying at a USD 1,100-a-day private hospital suite since she was arrested last month.

Manila: A Philippine court on Thursday ordered
ex-president Gloria Arroyo to be moved from an exclusive
hospital to a military-run medical facility while waiting to
go on trial for alleged vote rigging.

A judge at the Pasay City Regional Trial Court, which is
hearing the case, noted that medical procedures required by
Arroyo, 64, could be done at the Veterans Memorial Medical
Center, clerk of court Joel Pelicano said.

"Five days from today... former president Arroyo will be
transferred to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center," Pelicano
told reporters.

The veterans hospital is a heavily secured facility in
northern Manila where Arroyo`s safety would be assured, and
competent government doctors could attend to her needs, he
said.

Arroyo, who ruled the country for nearly a decade until
last year, has been staying at a USD 1,100-a-day private
hospital suite since she was arrested last month on charges of
rigging senatorial elections in 2007.

Vote rigging is a non-bailable offence and if convicted,
she could face life in jail. The trial could take years to
complete.

Her successor, Benigno Aquino, has also vowed to charge
Arroyo for other acts of corruption that she allegedly
committed while in power.

Arroyo`s lawyers have insisted that she is suffering from
a rare bone disorder, loss of appetite and intestinal
infections that require her to stay in the private hospital
and wear an elaborate neck brace.

PTI

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