Sandiganbayan OKs Estrada therapy in San Juan
MANILA, Philippines –The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division on Tuesday granted Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s request to undergo therapy for shoulder pains, allowing him to leave detention twice a week to seek treatment in a hospital in San Juan City.
“After due consideration of both oral and written arguments of the parties, and for humanitarian reason, the court resolves to grant accused-movant’s prayer,” the antigraft court said in a resolution.
The court said Estrada, who is detained for plunder charges in connection with the alleged misuse of pork barrel funds, may leave the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Quezon City for a two-hour therapy starting November 25 up to the first week of December.
Estrada will be allowed to leave Camp Crame not earlier than 8 a.m. to seek treatment at the physical therapy department of the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital. He has to return before 11 a.m.
The court ordered PNP Director General Alan Purisima to coordinate with the court’s sheriffs and to provide security escorts.
The court disallowed the use of communications and electronics devices during the therapy. Media interviews were also prohibited.
While Estrada will shoulder the expenses for the therapy, the PNP will bear the cost of the security detail, the court said.
In a manifestation filed in open court, Estrada’s camp said his doctors had recommended a therapy program and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the left shoulder.
They said Estrada was also suffering from mild bulging of the cervical spine and adhesive capsulitis.
“Senator Estrada will need to undergo supervised therapy program two to three times a week for two to four weeks that can be done in a sufficiently equipped physical therapy department. This can be done at Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital in San Juan City for sessions lasting two to three hours,” the manifestation read.
Estrada said he would also need to undergo a therapy program using the following equipment: hydrocollator, ultrasound, transcutaneous nerve stimulation and cervical traction up to 40 pounds.
Senators Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr. are facing plunder and graft charges before the Sandiganbayan for their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam. The scam, allegedly masterminded by their coaccused Janet Lim-Napoles, diverted the lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks.
Revilla and Estrada are detained at the PNP Custodial Center, while Napoles is locked up in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City. The 90-year-old Enrile is under hospital detention.