Napoles condition ‘nothing alarming’ – PNP doctors

Bea Cupin
There's no need to hospitalize Napoles, doctors at the Camp Crame General Hospital say, but she will need to undergo another 'special test'

EXAMS DONE. Members of the PNP SAF lead Janet Lim Napoles out of a coaster and into the Camp Crame General Hospital. Photo courtesy of the PNP PIO

MANILA, Philippines – Janet Lim Napoles says she’s sick and ailing, but new medical tests show “nothing alarming” about her health.

After subjecting the alleged pork barrel scam queen to several tests at the Camp Crame General Hospital on Wednesday, February 26, doctors said was no need to hospitalize her. 

Napoles underwent a battery of tests to figure out the case of her “hypoglycemia, drastic weight loss, chest paints, severe abdominal pains, and profuse menstrual bleeding.”

At Camp Crame, it took over two hours for Napoles to undergo a physical examination, blood extractions, a transvaginal ultrasound, and a pap smear to find out what’s wrong. Napoles arrived in Camp Crame at around 8:15 am and left by 11 am. 

Photos and video released by the PNP Public Information Office showed a noticeably thinner Napoles being ushered into the hospital.

Watch this report below.

Napoles has been detained at Fort Sto Domingo, in Sta Rosa, Laguna, since September 2013 for serious illegal detention charges. She allegedly detained former employee and now pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy from December 2012 to March 2013.

Serious illegal detention is a non-bailable offense. Napoles’ previous motion for bail and the subsequent motion for reconsideration have been denied by a Makati court.

According to a motion filed by Napoles’ camp, a CT Scan taken at the South Luzon Medical Center showed a cyst in her ovary. Her camp also said Napoles registered high CA-125 levels, an indication of cancer. Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda granted Napoles’ motion to conduct medical examination but named Camp Crame as a viable venue and not St Luke’s Medical Center as Napoles requested. 

Special test needed

Speaking to reporters after Napoles’ medical examination, PNP Health Services Director Chief Superintendent Alejandro Advincula said the results of the transvaginal ultrasound and the earlier CT Scan were different.

May bukol pero hindi sa ovary, sa uterus,” Advincula said. (There’s a lump but it’s not in the ovary, it’s in the uterus.)

He added that it was not a cyst, but avoided telling media what exactly it was, citing doctor-patient confidentiality.

PNP ob-gyn doctor Michelle Daguno added: “‘Yung bukol na nakita noon, hindi nakita ngayon. Hindi life threatening so far.” (The mass that was found [in the ovary] then was not found today. It’s not life threatening so far.)

Advincula said Napoles is “aware” of the results of her ultrasound and added it would require a “special test” to further probe Napoles’ condition. The “special tests,” said Advincula, could also be conducted in the Camp Crame General Hospital. 

The PNP also said they did not record “profuse menstrual bleeding” during Napoles’ medical examination.

The results of the other tests – which includes a re-take of the CA-125 test – will be out by Wednesday afternoon, but the PNP is “not obliged” to share it with the public, said Advincula.

Napoles’ camp also has the option of asking a different hospital to interpret the results of Napoles’ medical tests. Her attending physician, ob-gyn Dr Elsie Badillo Pascua was present while Napoles was being tested in Camp Crame.

Napoles can also ask the court to let her to take more medical exams on a different date.

Expensive trips 

Trips from Napoles’ detention center in Laguna to venues in Manila, however, don’t come cheap.

Previous trips – to appear at an arraignment for her serious illegal detention case, and to testify before the Senate blue ribbon committee – cost government around P120,000 each.

PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Theodore Sindac said the amount covers several days before and even after Napoles’ transfer. Napoles’ medical examination costs a little over P3,000, which will be shouldered by the government.

Addressing criticism over the high cost of transporting Napoles, Palace spokesperson Abigail Valte said their hands are tied. “Those are the attendant costs that come with having a high-risk detainee. We can’t say that she’s a high-profile detainee, she’s a high-risk detainee. So until such time, unfortunately, those are the attendant costs and the PNP only follows again the order of the court,” she said on Wednesday, February 26.

Sindac also confirmed over P150,000/monthly is being spent to detain Napoles in Laguna.

(Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story said it costs P150,000 per day to keep Napoles in Fort Sto. Domingo. It should be P150,000 per month. We regret the error.)

Senator Chiz Escudero on Wednesday, February 26, urged government to move Napoles to a regular jail. Her team, then led by Lorna Kapunan, argued Napoles needed extra security to protect her from people who did not want her to tell the truth.

Escudero questioned the need to give her tight security given that she won’t say anything. “Di ko maunawaan talaga ‘yun, kaya para sa akin dapat ilagay na siya sa ordinaryong kulungan. Pinanawagan ko na iyan matapos niyang tumestigo sa Senado. Walang dahilan para bigyan siya ng espesyal na seguridad,” he told reporters.

(I don’t understand why we can’t just move her to a regular jail. I’ve been asking to move her to a regular jail since her Senate testimony. There’s no reason to give her special security.) – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.