Manila: President Gloria Arroyo's top aide said the Philippine leader will take her scheduled trip to Spain when she returns to work after suffering a bout of diarrhoea and fatigue on Thursday evening.

"We can expect the President to buckle down to work when she arrives from Spain," Executive Secretary Michael Defensor said, adding that Arroyo had wanted to return yesterday but was prevailed upon by her family to take another day of rest.

Defensor said Arroyo's trip to Spain, Italy and the Vatican will proceed as scheduled.

Stomach ache

Arroyo was rushed to the hospital on Thursday evening after complaining of severe stomach ache and loose bowel movement.

Dr Juliet Cervantes, a gastroenterologist attending to the President at the Saint Luke's hospital in suburban Quezon City, said Arroyo suffered from "diarrhoea due to a viral infection". By around early afternoon, the President was up and about and was seen on television smiling and working on her laptop computer. From her hospital bed, Arroyo ordered Armed Forces Chief of Staff Generoso Senga to investigate the pilferage of ammunition in a military facility in Zamboanga City.

Yesterday the president's palace had cancelled the her visit to Compostela Valley in Southern Philippines due to her condition. "The President had been advised to let go some of her stressful workload in the meantime," Defensor said adding that Arroyo was an avowed workaholic.

The 59-year-old Philippine leader had just arrived from a dinner at a restaurant with her husband Mike Arroyo on Thursday evening to celebrate his birthday. Defensor said the President just had a salad at the restaurant and he was not aware if she had oysters, the restaurant's speciality.