MANILA, Philippines?Can Andal Ampatuan Sr. be brought to a hospital before he is arraigned?
Quezon City Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes has ordered a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) doctor to explain her recommendation that the Ampatuan clan patriarch be brought to the Makati Medical Center for treatment of his leg ailment.
In an order issued on May 9, Reyes told J/Chief Insp. Ma. Victoria E. Valeria to explain why she wanted the 70-year-old Ampatuan patriarch brought to the care of Dr. Glenn Santos of Makati Medical Center.
?(Valeria) is hereby directed to immediately inform the court in writing the treatment/appropriate medication she had prescribed to help relieve accused Andal Ampatuan Sr. from his medical problem,? Reyes said.
She also told the doctor to tell the court ?the reason why she referred said accused to Dr. Glenn Santos of the Makati Medical Center, a private hospital, for further evaluation and management.?
Valeria, chief of the BJMP Health Service Unit in Metro Manila, and Chief Insp. Lorna Terencio examined Ampatuan on May 4 and noticed a swelling on his left ankle joint.
Valeria?s diagnosis was osteoarthritis and recommended that Andal Sr. be brought to the Makati Med as an ?outpatient.?
But prosecutors Wednesday vowed to oppose the transfer of the Ampatuan patriarch, who is detained at the BJMP prison in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City, to a private hospital.
Private prosecutor Nena Santos noted that Ampatuan?s lawyers earlier said he had a prostate problem that affected his right leg, not his left ankle.
?We will oppose that. We will oppose his transfer to a private hospital,? Santos told reporters during a break at the hearing in Camp Bagong Diwa.
Santos earlier said that Andal Sr. was a ?flight risk? and that a prosecutor witness had told the court that the accused had previously feigned sickness just to avoid arrest.
Maguindanao Gov. Esmael ?Toto? Mangudadatu also said that bringing Andal Sr. to a private hospital might be his ?means of escape.?
He added that the Ampatuan patriarch might just be trying to avoid from being arraigned for the Maguindanao massacre?the worst election-related violent incident in the country?on Nov. 23, 2009 that left at least 57 people dead, many of them journalists.
At the hearing Wednesday, defense lawyers Paris Real and Andres Manuel cross examined medico-legal officer Chief Insp. Raymond Cabling, who autopsied eight victims, and tried to punch holes in his testimony by pointing out supposed procedural lapses in his autopsy and evidence gathering.
Real pointed to two typographical errors in Cabling?s report.
The two also grilled Cabling for failing to get a permit from local heath officers or national officials before exhuming the bodies of the victims.