Napoles makes personal plea to undergo surgery
MANILA, Philippines—Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles made a special appearance at a Makati court to make a personal plea to be allowed to undergo surgery at a private hospital.
Heavily guarded by police and looking bedraggled in a blue hoodie, Napoles showed up at the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 to personally plead to Judge Elmo Alameda to allow her to undergo surgery at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
The prosecution in the serious illegal detention case filed against Napoles by former employee Benhur Luy had apparently not been informed of her coming and objected to the “irregular procedures.” Alameda, however, allowed Napoles to speak in court.
“Please have pity on me, I want to be brought to St. Luke’s,” Napoles pleaded to Alameda in Filipino, her voice breaking. “The tumor is already too big. It’s very painful. If I weren’t truly ill, I wouldn’t ask this of you. I hope you understand. I’m also human,” said Napoles, her words trailing into heaving sobs.
Napoles said she had to drink powerful tranquilizers and take various medications to deal with the pain.
On Tuesday, defense lawyers presented in court the head of the Makati Medical Center’s department of obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Santiago del Rosario, who had analyzed the lab results.
In a letter to the Inquirer, Del Rosario clarified that what he said in court was that “a hemoglobin [count] of 12.5 grams is in the low limits of normal, but for Mrs. Napoles, who can afford nutritious food, vitamins and mineral supplements, however, her expected hemoglobin is 14.5 grams. If this dropped to 10.9 grams due to abnormal bleeding, then she could have lost two liters of blood, which needs further investigation, i.e. testing the coagulability of the blood.”
“With abnormal bleeding in middle-aged women, like 50-year-old Janet Napoles, one of the possibilities in my opinion is cancer. When cancer is part of the doctor’s impression, even though it is a minority risk, the condition should be definitely established by examinations in a well-equipped hospital as soon as possible since if there is cancer, every delay in treatment may spell the difference between cure and no cure,” Del Rosario added.
In yesterday’s hearing, the prosecution presented two witnesses from a Diagnostics Center in Antipolo, the laboratory which conducted a hemoglobin count test last Dec. 13 on a blood sample allegedly belonging to Napoles.
No new witness
The judge turned down their request for another hearing to present other witness, announcing the issue was to be submitted for resolution.
The judge allowed Napoles to drop by Ospital ng Makati before heading back to Fort Sto. Domingo for a checkup due to abdominal pain. After a series of tests, she was released from the hospital around 2:40 p.m.
Meanwhile, a Manila court hearing a forfeiture case against Napoles has extended a 20-day provisional asset preservation order on bank accounts and properties linked to the suspected scam mastermind. With a report from Erika Sauler
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