The Philippines' election commission said it has voted to file electoral sabotage charges against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, which could be sufficient for the government to stop the former president travelling overseas as planned later on Friday.

Election Commission chairman Sixto Brillantes told reporters

the commission, known as Comelec, had voted to file the charges against Arroyo after an early morning meeting on Friday.

The decision came ahead of a special sitting of the Supreme Court to hear a government motion against its decision on Tuesday to issue a temporary restraining order on the government's travel ban on Arroyo and her husband.

Arroyo, president from 2001 to 2010, has faced allegations of electoral fraud and corruption but has not been formally charged.

Arroyo says she needs to travel overseas for medical treatment, but the government had placed a travel ban on Arroyo and her husband.

After the high court decision on Tuesday, Arroyo turned up at the airport in a wheelchair and her neck in a brace, aiming to fly overseas for medical treatment, but she and her husband were turned back.

(Reporting by John Mair, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)