Doctor: Napoles can be discharged by May 29

Bea Cupin
Doctor: Napoles can be discharged by May 29
Since Janet Lim Napoles is 'responding to the medications' administered to stop her bleeding, a Makati doctor says it would be safe to discharge her soon

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – An ob-gyn who led the Ospital ng Makati team in treating alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles on Monday, May 26, said Napoles could be discharged “in a few days’ time.”

Ospital ng Makati (OsMak or Makati Hospital) ob-gyn Dr. Florentina Villanueva was the prosecution’s witness in the hearing for Napoles’ motion to extend her stay in the hospital. Napoles was moved to OsMak two months ago to remove a mass in her uterus.

“Considering she’s responding to the medications… The recommendation is that in a few days time, we can probably discharge [Napoles],” Villanueva said when asked by prosecutor Chris Garvida for her recommendation.

Watch this report below.


Villanueva said it would be safe to discharge Napoles by Thursday, May 29. Napoles’ lead counsel Stephen David, however, told the court that Napoles told him she was still bleeding as of Monday morning.

Presiding Judge Elmo Alameda ordered OsMak Medical Director Dr. Perry Peralta and Villanueva to submit a progress report on Napoles covering May 26-29, 2014. Alameda will they decide on the motion by May 29, Thursday.  

Napoles was originally discharged from the hospital early May, around a week after she underwent a complete hysterectomy. Napoles, however, did not leave the hospital despite the discharge order. She later asked the court for an extension of her hospital stay, but this was initially denied by Alameda.

Two days before the deadline of her scheduled transfer, Napoles’ attending physicians – all personal doctors – reported “excessive vaginal bleeding,” prompting them to withdraw the earlier discharge order. The motion being heard now is a new one, which asked Alameda to revoke his earlier decision.

Villanueva is part of an OsMak team composed of two ob-gyns, an endocrinologist, and an anaesthetician. The team attended to Napoles in collaboration with her attending physicians.

The alleged mastermind in the country’s biggest corruption case in recent history has done quite a lot during her hospital stay. She met with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in her hospital room and held various meetings with her lawyers for her supposed tell-all affidavit, which De Lima is scheduled to submit to the Senate on Monday.

‘Too many visitors’

Villanueva said she only found out about Napoles’ bleeding on May 20, at around 8:30 in the evening. Dr. Efren Pascua, Napoles’ personal gynaecological oncologist, informed Villanueva through the phone.

“I told him to make a medical report,” said Villanueva adding that the bleeding was “a new development.”

Prior to the bleeding, said Villanueva, Napoles’ recovery was on track and that there were “no signs of infection.”

Several factors could cause bleeding, said Villanueva. Among them: infection, anemia, “abnormal bleeding parameters,” and local infection. Medical exams to check the 4 possible causes, however, were negative.

Villanueva pointed out another possible cause for the bleeding: stress, which was also mentioned by Domingo during an earlier hearing. “We cannot rule out the possibility of trauma in that area because the area was not examined. What I’m thinking is the relationship between stress and the bleeding,” she said.

Stress increases cortisol levels in a person, making the healing process more difficult. “Yung sugat, lalo na yung kay Mrs. Napoles, kailangan ng oras para maghilom,” Villanueva added. (Wounds, such as the ones Mrs. Napoles has, need time to heal.)

Most patients, said Villanueva, spend this part of their recovery in their homes – where they have ample time to rest. Villanueva noted that Napoles has “a lot of visitors” in her hospital room, even at night. Napoles is also working on an affidavit she has to submit before the Justice Department in connection to the pork barrel scam.

Garvida asked if the sheer number of visitors could have caused stress. “I would be stressed if I had a lot of visitors,” quipped Villanueva.

Napoles is currently under detention for serious illegal detention charges after she allegedly detained former aid turned pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy from December 2012 to March 2013. Also accused in Napoles’ brother Reynald Lim who is still at large. –

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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.