(UPDATE) Former President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City over a heart ailment.
Arroyo, who is set for an arraignment on Monday over fund-misuse allegations, reportedly suffered severe chest pains Friday.
VMMC Director Dr. Nona Legazpi said Arroyo was rushed to the ICU for strict monitoring after disclosing three ECG tracings that indicated she has been suffering from ischemia.
Legazpi explained “ischemia” is the blockage of blood in the vessels, which could potentially lead to heart attack if not treated immediately.
“We have to assume the worst… that there are blockages of blood leading to her coronary arteries until it is proven otherwise,” Legazpi said in press conference on Friday afternoon.
“And it’s already documented there are blockages in her blood vessels leading to her heart… There’s no need to emphasize that the heart is important,” she added.
Legazpi clarified the incumbent Pampanga lawmaker did not have any trace of the condition when she last underwent ECG tests in February.
Attributing Arroyo’s latest diagnosis to stress, the hospital official reiterated it would be risky for the former leader to attend her arraignment before the Sandiganbayan next week.
Arroyo should have been set to enter her plea for the P366-million plunder case lodged against her for allegedly misusing money from Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)’s confidential fund on Monday.
“No, she cannot attend the hearing. We didn’t know she has to attend a hearing. That would be very dangerous,” Legazpi reiterated.
“It would be better if she remains in ICU where nurses and doctors are posted 24 hours… We do not know for how long. It depends on her condition,” she added.
At the same time, Legazpi expressed willingness to prove Arroyo’s medical condition to Sandiganbayan justices in a separate hearing on October 18.
Earlier this week, her camp filed a petition seeking to defer her arraignment to a later date.
The former leader also asked the anti-graft court to place her under hospital arrest while her plunder case over PCSO intelligence funds is being heard by the anti-graft court.
Last week, Arroyo was brought back and confined to a presidential suit inside VMMC due to dehydration and body weakness after being out on bail since July.
Mrs. Arroyo, who also has been suffering from rare bone disorder hypoparathyroidism, was earlier confined to hospital arrest at VMMC in connection with election sabotage case pending at Pasay Regional Trial Court.
Amid questions hurled against its early partial proclamation, the poll body on Friday named three more winning Senate candidates even before it completed its official count.