Prosecutor wants Arroyo’s stem cell doctor on watch list

MANILA, Philippines – The prosecutor in cases against Antonia Park – the stem cell doctor of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – is seeking her inclusion in the Bureau of Immigration's (BI) lookout bulletin.

In an April 16 memorandum addressed to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, prosecution lawyer Monica Liwag requested to include Park in BI's lookout bulletin.

"This is to respectfully request for the inclusion of the person of Antonia Carandang-Park aka Zoharina Antonia Pedrera Carandang in the Immigration Look Out Bulletin Order (ILBO)," Liwag wrote.

Liwag – the acting city prosecutor of Tagaytay – recommended on December 22, 2014, that Park be indicted for one count of illegal practice of medicine and 8 counts of estafa.

The Tagaytay Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 18 issued a warrant of arrest against Park on March 30, 2015, for one count of estafa, but she posted bail of P32,000 ($723.85) on April 6.

Unlicensed

The court acted on charges filed in May 2014 by Bernard Tan, the father of one of Park's patients, Kate Tan. 

Kate died on July 4, 2013, due to a tumor that blocked the entry of blood to her heart, secondary to Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

According to the father, Kate started undergoing stem cell treatment in August 2012, and Park allegedly promised to cure the patient in 3 months' time.

The Tans went to Park's clinic after they saw news of Arroyo seeking alternative treatment there. In July 2012, Park took in Arroyo "for possible stem cell therapy." Park used the title "MD" in her statement released to the press.

Republic Act 2382 or The Medical Act of 1959 considers a person engaged in the practice of medicine when he uses MD after his name.

But a Rappler investigative report revealed Park is not licensed to practice in the Philippines – a fact she admitted. (READ: Arroyo's alternative medicine doctor unlicensed)

After that, the National Bureau of Investigation filed a case against Park for illegal practice of medicine.

Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino also ordered the closure of Park's clinic, Green & Young Health & Wellness Center's, which was listed as a "massage clinic/sauna/turkish/swedish bath."

Petition for review

Bernard Tan is hopeful about the recent developments in his fight against Park.

"That's why I submitted to the system, precisely because I believe in it. Although mabagal (slow), at least it is attainable as long as you have the truth on your side," he said in an interview on Monday, April 20.

On April 16, Tan filed a petition before the Department of Justice to review the cases of syndicated estafa and murder against Park. He said he will also clarify with DOJ about the remaining 7 counts of estafa.

"'Yung review ko, hopefully, 'pag nakita ni Secretary De Lima, ma-consider niya, so we can go to a full-blown trial talaga. Iyon ang ine-expect ko sana," he added.

(My petition for review, hopefully, when Secretary De Lima sees it, she will consider, so we can really have a full-blown trial. That's what I expect, hopefully.)

The court has set Park's arraignment for May 6. – Rappler.com

*US$1 = P44.21

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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