Court allows Napoles’ private docs for surgery

Bea Cupin
The city government of Makati says its willing to allow the personal doctors of Janet Napoles to take over

NAPOLES' LAWYERS. Dr. Elsie Badillo-Pascua (leftmost) and Dr. Michael Lim-Villa (middle) testify at the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150. File photo by RapplerMANILA, Philippines – A Makati court on Wednesday, April 2, allowed the personal doctors of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to perform the planned surgical procedure that would remove a myoma in her uterus.

In an order issued on April 2, the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 granted Napoles’ request “to avail the services of the physician of her choice under the Philippine Medical Association Declaration on the Rights and Obligations of the Patient.”

Last week, the same court granted her motion for surgery and hospital confinement. Monday evening, March 31, Napoles was transferred from her detention facility in Laguna to the Ospital ng Makati (Makati Hospital).

On Tuesday, April 1, the city government of Makati filed an urgent motion to seek an order that would authorize Napoles doctors – who are affiliated with the St Luke’s Medical Center – to attend to Napoles’ medical needs. The city government in the urgent motion also expressed its willingness to allow Napoles’ personal doctors to take over.

With the order, Elsie Badillo-Pascua, Efren Domingo, Leo Aquizilan, Michael Lim-Villa, Nick Cruz, an unnamed anesthesiologist and pulmonologist will now take over the medical supervision of Napoles.

Villa and Badillo-Pascua earlier testified before the Makati RTC Branch 150 on Napoles’ motion. Villa has been Napoles’ endocrinologist for years now, while Badillo-Pascua, an ob-gyn, was brought in only after a possible tumor was detected.

Napoles had earlier asked the court to allow her surgery and confinement at St Luke’s Medical Center and not in any government hospital. Her camp claimed she had a “bad experience” while undergoing medical examinations at the Camp Crame General Hospital. They also argued that the facilities in St. Luke’s were top-notch.

A tearful Napoles appealed before the court herself, asking for presiding Judge Elmo Alameda’s mercy. “Natatakot na ako,” Napoles pleaded before the court. (I’m already scared.) –

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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.