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Doctors say no need to confine Napoles

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – It's "nothing urgent," Ospital ng Makati medical director Perry Peralta said on Friday, March 21, referring to the condition of Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam.

Peralta described her condition as "stable, okay na." She was discharged and sent back to her detention center in Sta Rosa, Laguna.

Napoles was brought to the Ospital ng Makati, following the recommendation of a Philippine National Police (PNP) doctor to a Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC), before which she appeared in person. The court was hearing her motion for medical surgery and hospital confinement. (READ: Napoles pleads before Makati court: Nahihirapan na ako) 

After some tests and evaluation, the doctors said there was no need for an emergency confinement. Earlier, Makati RTC Clerk of Court Diosfa Valencia said the court would abide by the Philippine National Police doctor's judgment. 

Peralta said the role of Ospital ng Makati was merely "to check emerging conditions." He added that the attending physicians of Napoles will still have a say on her need for hospitallization or on whatever treatment she needs. The results of the tests were not disclosed to the media.

Before she was sent off, Napoles was given Ketorolac, a generic pain reliever, to ease her abdominal pain.

St Luke's preferred

Other options included: the Southern Luzon Medical Center, the Veteran's Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital, the East Avenue Medical Center, and the Camp Crame General Hospital.

Napoles was accompanied to the Ospital ng Makati by her husband Jaime, her lawyer, and the PNP doctor.

Visibly thinner and at times, slumping over a table, Napoles asked the Makati court to allow her to undergo surgery and be confined, saying, she has been suffering for a while now.

But Napoles, who has been in detention for over 6 months now, wanted the court to allow the medical procedures done at St Luke's in Taguig City, and if possible, not anywhere else. Napoles faced the court in person on Friday, March 21.

"Why does she want St Luke's? Because she can afford it?" quipped Makati RTC Branch 150 presiding Judge Elmo Alameda.

Watch this report below.

Victim of malpractice

Napoles answered, "Dahil po kasi doon yung doctors na may records, yung nanay ko, namatay sa malpractice. Yung mga gamit po nila, ay nasa modern...may tiwala kami sa gamit ng St. Luke's," she told the court. (The doctors in St Luke's have my records. My mother died as a result of medical malpractice. The equipment in St Luke's is modern, I trust the hospital.)

Napoles said she was worried about the conflicting results of two different hospitals – the Southern Luzon Medical Center said she had a tumor in her ovaries, while the Camp Crame General Hospital said she has a myoma

Alameda said the court recognized the need for compassion in Napoles' case but added they needed to balance it with public interest.

'We aren't sadists'

Napoles is currently detained at a PNP Special Action Force (PNP SAF) camp in Laguna for serious illegal detention charges.

"Hindi kami sadista dito (We are not sadists), we are civilized people here," said Alameda during a hearing for Napoles' motion for medical surgery and hospital confinement.

In her motion, Napoles said she wants to undergo surgery to remove a myoma that was discovered in her uterus during a medical examination in Camp Crame General Hospital.

A distraught Napoles told the court: "Hirap na po akong uminom ng tranquilizer, ng tramadol. Napakalakas po noon. (I'm tired of taking tranquilizers, Tramadol [a pain killer]. They are very strong medicines.)

Napoles added that her menstrual bleeding only stopped because she was taking hemostan, a drug typically used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding. Had she been allowed to visit St. Luke's earlier, her medical woes now would have been gone, she said before the court. 

Right after Alameda ordered the motion submitted for resolution, Napoles' lawyers asked that their client be brought to a hospital for a check-up because she was in pain.

Sudden trip

Napoles was brought to the Makati court following a request for subpoena submitted by the defense team. Faye Isaguirre Singson, Napoles' special counsel for the motion, said it would be best if Napoles herself convinced the court of the necessity of the medical procedures.

The trip to Makati caught most of the characters in the case by surprise – the prosecution team opposed Napoles' plea and her appearance, saying it was not necessary.

Alameda, however, denied the prosecution's objections and ruled Napoles' plea would be part of the defense's prayer in the motion. –