Philippines’ Arroyo in intensive care

Updated 13 October 2012
0

Philippines’ Arroyo in intensive care

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 $8.8 million in state lottery funds to finance her election campaigns. She could face life in jail if found guilty.
Arroyo was arrested on Oct. 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.
Rival Benigno Aquino won a landslide election victory in 2010, largely on a vow to fight corruption and prosecute Arroyo.
Arroyo was also charged in another court in November last year with vote fraud for allegedly conspiring to rig the 2007 senatorial elections, and spent most of the following eight months at the same military hospital.


‘Results’ needed from Myanmar over Rohingya return: UNHCR head

Updated 24 May 2019
0

‘Results’ needed from Myanmar over Rohingya return: UNHCR head

  • A UN fact-finding mission called for Myanmar’s top generals to be prosecuted for “genocide”
  • Myanmar pejoratively labels the Rohingya as “Bengali,” implying they are illegal interlopers

YANGON: Myanmar must “show results” to convince Rohingya refugees to return, the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Friday at the end of his first visit to Myanmar since the crackdown against Rohingya Muslims in 2017.
A brutal military campaign in western Rakhine state forced some 740,000 Rohingya over the border into Bangladesh.
Around one million Rohingya now languish in sprawling refugee camps from various waves of persecution.
A UN fact-finding mission called for Myanmar’s top generals to be prosecuted for “genocide” and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has started preliminary investigations.
During his visit Grandi spoke with both Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine Buddhist communities in Maungdaw and Buthidaung in northern Rakhine, the epicenter of the violence.
He also held discussions with officials in capital Naypyidaw, including civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, describing all talks as “constructive.”
“My message is: ‘please accelerate’, because it has been very slow in the implementation in this first year. We need to show results,” he told AFP in an interview in Yangon.
“This is not enough to convince people to come back,” he said.
Grandi visited the camps in Bangladesh in April.
The two countries have signed a repatriation agreement but so far virtually no refugees have returned, fearing for their safety and unconvinced they will be granted citizenship.
Myanmar pejoratively labels the Rohingya as “Bengali,” implying they are illegal interlopers and the community has had its rights eroded over decades.
Gaining independent access to northern Rakhine is difficult with most journalists, observers and diplomats only allowed on brief chaperoned visits.
Grandi defended the UNHCR’s involvement in a plan by the Bangladeshi government to move some 100,000 refugees onto low-lying island Bhashan Char.
The area in the Bay of Bengal is prone to flooding and cyclones.
Rights groups oppose the scheme that has also so far been universally rejected by the Rohingya themselves.
The refugee agency must be “involved” to have the necessary information in order to take a stance on the issue, Grandi said.
“We’re still at that stage, no more than that.”
He also visited camps near Rakhine’s capital Sittwe, where nearly 130,000 Rohingya have been confined since a previous bout of violence in 2012.
Myanmar has announced it will close the camps but many are skeptical the displaced will enjoy more freedoms.
Grandi said the UNHCR would reconsider its role in providing services if conditions did not substantially improve.
“To simply transform the camps, upgrade the camps, upgrade the houses, for example, but leave them in the same situation will not be a solution,” he said.