First Gentleman Mike Arroyo Suffered a HEART ATTACK, forces Arroyo plane to land in Japan

November 21, 2008

First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo fell ill on board a Philippine Air Lines plane while he, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the rest Philippine delegation were on their way to Peru for the APEC leaders’ meeting.

Vice-President Noli de Castro told ABS-CBN News that Mr. Arroyo, 62, suffered a heart attack. But this was denied by deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo who said it was a “stomach problem.”

Malacañang sources said President Arroyo will still go to the APEC summit. Three doctors of the First Gentleman in the Philippines have been alerted and are scheduled to fly to Osaka, Japan to help attend to Mr. Arroyo.

The chartered Philippine Air Lines (PAL) flight carrying the President and her husband landed in Osaka at 11:05 pm, Manila time (12:05 am in Japan).

Mr. Arroyo was to be brought to Izumisano Emergency Hospital, sources in Osaka said. Just how serious his condition is was still unclear, the source in Japan said.

President Arroyo was scheduled to leave Osaka at 1:30 am (Japan time) for Los Angeles and Peru.

Mr. Arroyo’s cardiologist, Dr. Antonio Sibulo said he was told by Dr. Rommel Cariño, the First Gentleman’s surgeon, to stand by and prepare to leave for Japan. As of posting, Sibulo said Mr. Arroyo is in stable condition.

“He is clearly at risk for the next five years. The possibility of recurrence [of heart attack] is still very high,” Sibulo told ANC.

On April 9, 2007, Mr. Arroyo underwent a successful ten-hour open heart surgery after being diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. After the operation, he has been undergoing weekly therapy at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. — with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

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