Gabriela Representative Luz Ilagan questions Napoles’ 3-week furlough
MANILA, Philippines–It’s been a three-week hospital furlough so far.
Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan on Monday said she was surprised and suspicious that Janet Lim-Napoles had not yet undergone surgery for a cyst in her uterus—normally a four-day procedure—despite her earlier urgent plea to be hospitalized because of it.
Napoles, 51, the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, has been at Ospital ng Makati since March 31 and is to undergo an operation this evening, her lawyer said.
“It is highly suspicious that her doctors are taking their sweet time! Isn’t the myoma growing? If time is not of the essence, why the rush to admit her?” Ilagan said.
Given this, she said it would not be far-fetched to think that Napoles would stretch her postoperation recovery confinement at the hospital to the maximum.
“I am not a gambling person but I am willing to bet the postsurgery period will be even longer. Expect malingering on Janet’s part,” she said.
Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus, for her part, suspects that Napoles’ hospitalization was an excuse to get relief from detention at the Philippine National Police antiterrorist training camp at Sta. Rosa town, Laguna province.
Napoles went into hiding for two weeks after a warrant for her arrest was issued for the serious illegal detention of her former aide, Benhur Luy, who has turned against her. She surrendered to President Aquino in August, after the alleged scam broke out.
De Jesus said it was a common practice for high-profile personalities implicated in controversies to seek out the hospital as a sanctuary.
But she also said what was important to her was for Napoles to be done with her surgery so that she could stand trial for her alleged crimes posthaste.
“Rest now but you should answer all your crimes later,” she said.
She also said it was important that an impartial doctor provide an assessment or report on Napoles’ medical condition and determine when she would be fit to return to detention.
Napoles’ lawyer, Faye Singson, said in a phone interview that Napoles informed her during an earlier visit at the hospital that the surgical operation to remove the cyst in her uterus was set tonight.
“She told me that the entire team is ready. I can surmise that the surgery to be done was based on the results of the biopsy procedure performed on her,” Singson said.
The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 has allowed Napoles to seek treatment for her uterine cyst but only if it would be done at the local government hospital in the city.
Napoles earlier complained of profuse bleeding and abdominal pain, which, according to doctors, were symptoms of a tumor in her uterus.
Earlier, officials of Ospital ng Makati announced that Napoles would be confined for at least 26 days if there would be no complications after the surgery.
But the schedule of the surgery had been moved, since Napoles had to undergo a biopsy procedure first.
Two teams are attending to her medical needs and treatment— one composed of five doctors of Ospital ng Makati and the other a team from St. Luke’s Medical Center tapped by Napoles.
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