The Philippines on Friday sought a new ban on Gloria Macapagal Arroyo leaving the country as the election commission filed charges of electoral sabotage against the former president, ahead of a Supreme Court ruling on an earlier block on travel.

The court is holding a special session on Friday to consider a government motion against its decision on Tuesday to issue a temporary restraining order on a travel ban on Arroyo and her husband, which was not based on any charges.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) filed an urgent motion in a regional trial court on Friday for a hold departure order after filing charges of electoral sabotage case against Arroyo over the 2007 elections.

If the regional court issued a hold departure order, the debate over the initial ban would be moot. Arroyo could appeal the new travel ban to the Supreme Court.

Arroyo has been seeking to leave the country, saying she needs medical treatment. The government believes she is trying to avoid investigation of allegations of electoral fraud and corruption during her nine years in office from 2001.

Arroyo's camp said she and her husband were booked on a late-afternoon flight to Singapore.

After the Supreme Court decision on Tuesday, Arroyo turned up at the airport in a wheelchair and her neck in a brace, but she and her husband were turned back.

(Reporting by Manny Mogato; Editing by John Mair and Jonathan Thatcher)