16 Nov 2011

Former Philippines president stopped from boarding plane

10:29 am on 16 November 2011

Authorities in the Philippines have prevented former president Gloria Arroyo from leaving the country even though the Supreme Court overturned a government ban on her doing so.

The 64-year-old is seeking medical treatment abroad for what she says is a life-threatening bone disease.

She and her husband arrived at Manila's international airport just hours after the Supreme Court delivered its ruling that the government's travel ban was unconstitutional.

The pair were trying to get to Singapore and then to Europe, the BBC reports.

Mrs Arroyo says she needs urgent medical treatment in Europe.

However, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered officials to stop the Arroyos from boarding the plane.

Mrs Arroyo faces numerous claims of corruption and electoral fraud and the government is afraid that if she leaves the country she will never return to face the accusations against her.