By Vittorio Hernandez

Manila, Philippines

On the order of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, the Bureau of Immigration placed on its watchlist former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday.

With the order, Arroyo is prohibited from leaving the country unless she secures a travel clearance from de Lima, who served as Human Rights Commissioner under Arroyo's administration.

The DOJ made the move because of three complaints filed against the former president, who is also undergoing health problems.

The watchlist order is good for only 60 days, unless it would be extended or terminated earlier by de Lima.

On the same day, the former president's physician, Dr. Juliet Cervantes, said that Arroyo has to go through a third surgery. She explained that Arroyo's first operation developed an infection from the titanium implants that were dislodged.

Arroyo's first surgery two weeks ago was to address her pinched neck nerves. She went through a second operation on Wednesday to remove the implants. Her infection would be healed first before she undergoes the knife for a third surgery to place again the titanium implants so she would no longer need a neck brace, which serves as external support.

Cervantes said the infection could have come from the former president's throat since bacteria are usually found in the pharyngeal area. Arroyo's vocal chords were swollen last week after her first surgery. But Cervantes admitted it would be difficult to pinpoint the exact source of the infection.

The doctor said a patient's immune system is weak, there is a tendency for that person to be prone to infection.

Before Arroyo, who is Pampanga representative, goes through a third surgery, she needs to take strong antibiotics intravenously. Cervantes said that Arroyo may be hospitalized for a longer period than her previous confinement, but she did not provide a specific time frame.


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World - DOJ Places Former Philippine President On Immigration Watchlist | Global Viewpoint