Philippine leader's husband falls ill on flight, diverted to Japan

Other News Materials 21 November 2008 21:51 (UTC +04:00)

A plane carrying Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has made an emergency landing in Japan after her husband fell ill on the flight, officials said Friday.

Arroyo was on her way to Lima, Peru to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit, dpa reported.

Her husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, fell ill on the flight, with some officials saying he had a heart attack. Other officials said he suffered an upset stomach.

Mr. Arroyo underwent heart surgery in Manila last year.

"Our information is that the president's plane made an emergency landing in Osaka, Japan at 11 pm Philippine time because of the condition of the first gentleman," Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said.

"Because of this, we alerted the first gentleman's doctors, three doctors will board a special plane (from Manila) to Japan anytime now," he added.

Ermita could not immediately confirm reports that Mr. Arroyo suffered a heart attack, but he noted, "We all know that the first gentleman went through a heart operation."

He said Mr. Arroyo was expected to be taken to a hospital in Japan, with the president by his side. Initial reports indicate that President Arroyo will continue her trip to Lima, Peru.