MANILA, Philippines – The Makati Regional Trial Court on Friday, March 28, said it granted the plea of Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind, to stay in a hospital for treatment.
The court, however, barred her from going to the posh St Luke’s Medical Center. It allowed her to stay at the Ospital ng Makati (Hospital of Makati), a public facility.
In an interview on dzMM, clerk of court Diosfa Valencia said the judge, Elmo Alameda, chose the government hospital because the prosecution opposed St Luke’s. Valencia said the government hospital is “independent,” anyway.
Justifying the decision, Valencia said, “Tinitimbang din po ng korte na kailangan safe din po siya and matutugunan po ‘yung pangangailangan niya na medical.” (The court is also weighing whether she is safe and whether her medical needs can be addressed.)
Alameda did not indicate when Napoles would be brought to the Ospital ng Makati for treament. According to Napoles’ special counsel for the motion Faye Isaguirre Singson, the cost of her treatment will not be shouldered by government. “[Napoles’] relatives will render financial aid,” she said in a text message to Rappler.
According to her doctors, Napoles’s confinement and possible surgery will cost up to P70,000.
The lawyer of principal witness Benhur Luy, Raji Mendoza, said they respect the decision of the Alameda. “Naniniwala naman po kami na sinuri niyang mabuti ang sitwasyon o kalagayan ni Janet Lim Napoles. Napakinggan din naman po ng Korte ang mga doktor na sumuri sa kanyang karamdaman. Kung ito talaga ang kailangan batay sa payo ng mga doktor, kailangan natin itong respetuhin. Everybody has the right to enjoy basic human rights.”
(We believe that he studied the situation and condition of Janet Lim Napoles very closely. The court heard the doctors who examined her. If this is what is really needed based on the advice of doctors, we need to respect this. Everybody has the right to enjoy basic human rights.)
Surgery, confinement request
Napoles requested the court on Friday, March 21, to allow her to undergo surgery and be allowed confinement.
Detained at Fort Sto Domingo in Laguna, Napoles wants hospital treatment to remove a myoma that was discovered in her uterus during medical exams at the Camp Crame General Hospital.
But Napoles said conflicting results from two different hospitals have fueled her worries. These prompted her to appeal for confinement in St Luke’s. (READ: Why it’s St. Lukes or bust for Napoles)
According to her lawyers, Napoles doesn’t want to be confined in “any government facility” because of a “bad experience” when she underwent medical exams at the Camp Crame General Hospital.
Alameda’s decision comes after two key events in the hearing for Napoles’ motion. An expert witness told the court that Napoles’ condition was “urgent” because of the risk of cancer. A week after, Napoles herself made a surprise appearance before the court, and asked for the court’s mercy. – Rappler.com