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Former Philippines President Hospitalized With Heart Ailment

December 11, 1988

HONOLULU (AP) _ Deposed Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, who has pleaded ill health while putting off court appearances, remained hospitalized Saturday after suffering what aides said was congestive heart failure.

St. Francis Medical Center nursing supervisor Mildred Kim said Marcos, 71, was in guarded condition and was stable late Saturday afternoon. Earlier advisories had said that he was in guarded condition.

She declined to elaborate, except to say, ″He’s improved some. He’s stable.″

St. Francis officials had said that more information on Marcos’ condition and diagnosis would be released Saturday morning, after results of tests became known. However, hospital nursing supervisor Mary Kravutske said that doctors were too busy to meet reporters.

She read a brief statement: ″Marcos is in stable condition, he is resting comfortably and he will remain in the hospital. Period.″

Doctors have refused to release any information beyond saying Marcos did not suffer a heart attack and did not require surgery. Congestiv heart failure means the heart is unable to pump as much blood as the body requires.

Even before he was hospitalized Friday, Marcos was the subject of legal proceedings over whether he is too sick to travel to New York for arraignment on federal racketeering charges. His wife, Imelda, pleaded innocent in an appearance in October, shortly after the indictment was handed up, and is free on bond.

A cardiologist who examinded Marcos for a federal judge in New York reported that although Marcos suffers various ailments, he was well enough to travel to New York for arraignment. The report said Marcos repeatedly faked pain during a three-hour examination.

Mrs. Marcos returned to the hospital Saturday. When she emerged, she told reporters her husband was in poor health, adding, ″You don’t need a doctor, an expert, to know he is in pain.″

Messages left at the office and home of Marcos’ cardiologist, Dr. Calvin Wong, seeking elaboration on his condition were not immediately returned Saturday.

However, Marcos aide Arturo Ariuza said Marcos had been suffering chest pains for the past three weeks, but did not want to be hospitalized because he believed he would be accused of faking.

″He had a heart irregularity, and that can be pretty serious,″ said hospital spokeswoman Norma Kop, who was asked to comment Friday on the possibility that Marcos could be faking.

The exiled leader, ousted from power in February 1986, developed chest pains after he became distressed over concern for his daughter, Imee Manotoc, who suffered complications during childbirth Friday in Morocco, where she lives, said Marcos spokesman Gemmo Trinidad.

Marcos was taken to the hospital by ambulance Friday and underwent tests, including an electrocardiogram, Kop said.

He was admitted shortly after noon and by midafternoon doctors had stabilized his heartbeat, Kop said. He joked with nurses and sat up to eat, she said.

Marcos aides alerted the news media that he would be going to the hospital and delayed his departure from the Marcoses’ Makiki Heights estate for several minutes so photographers could take pictures.

Marcos spent several days at the hospital in May after suffering chest pains.

Update hourly