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Hawaii News

Court allows former Philippine president to seek medical treatment abroad

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The Philippine Supreme Court today gave former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo permission to leave the country, overruling her successor, who has said she might never return because of a corruption investigation.

Justices voted 8-5 to issue a temporary restraining order, allowing Arroyo to travel, a court spokesman said.

Arroyo has said she wants to get medical treatment abroad for a bone ailment. She had petitioned the court to scrap the government’s travel ban against her, saying it was a violation of her rights. President Benigno Aquino III last week refused to lift the ban, saying Arroyo might not come back. He offered to fly in any foreign doctors she chose at the government’s expense, but Arroyo refused.

Arroyo, now a member of Congress, is under investigation by the Justice Department for allegations of plunder and election sabotage during her 2001-2010 presidency. She has denied any wrongdoing.

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