Philippines’ Arroyo in intensive care

Updated 13 October 2012
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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.


Malaysia to push Southeast Asian nations for long-term solution to smog

Updated 19 September 2019

Malaysia to push Southeast Asian nations for long-term solution to smog

  • Malaysia and neighboring Singapore have been choked by smoky air blown in from forest fires started to clear land for plantations
  • The situation forced schools to shut and many people to wear masks so as to avoid inhaling smog particles

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will push its Southeast Asian neighbors to strengthen cooperation in finding a long-term solution for smog wafted across the region from forest fires in Indonesia, its environment minister said on Thursday.
In the past few weeks, Malaysia and neighboring Singapore have been choked by smoky air blown in from forest fires started to clear land for plantations, forcing schools to shut and many people to wear masks so as to avoid inhaling smog particles.
“I will have a conference call with the ASEAN secretary-general to raise our views and also express our hope for a more effective mechanism at the ASEAN level for a long-term solution,” Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin told a news conference, but did not elaborate on other participants.
All three countries belong to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which set up a regional haze action plan in 1997, but Malaysia thinks the grouping has not done enough to evolve a long-term solution.
Among its efforts to tackle the hazard, Malaysia could pass a new law to punish any of its companies responsible for starting fires, but only international cooperation could yield a lasting solution, Yeo added.
“Cloud seeding is only temporary. A law here would only deal with Malaysian companies. What we need is international cooperation for a long-term solution.”
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had said Malaysia was considering a new law to compel its companies to tackle fires on land they control abroad.
Yeo said Malaysia will keep up cloud seeding efforts to bring temporary relief in badly-hit areas. This involves spraying chemicals, such as sodium chloride and magnesium oxide, from aircraft in order to spur rainfall.
Malaysia will also consider deploying drones to help in cloud seeding, Mahathir told a separate news conference.
Malaysia’s Islamic Development Department issued the text of a special plea for divine intervention to disperse the smog, to be recited after weekly prayers on Friday by mosque congregations nationwide.