Zaldy Ampatuan Seeks Leave From Detention For Medical Exam

March 3, 2016

MANILA, Philippines – Former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Zaldy Ampatuan has once again asked the Quezon City court handling the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case to allow him to undergo medical examination in a government hospital for further evaluation of his health.

In a three-page extremely urgent motion for medical examination filed at the QC Regional Trial Court Branch 221, Ampatuan sought to be examined at the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) in Quezon City “on March 4 or any day in the second week of March.”

Ampatuan, through his counsels from Heffron Esguerra Dy & De Jesus law office, said he is suffering from severe chest and body pains that might be related to poorly controlled hypertension and coronary microvascular disease, which affects the tiny heart arteries.

Ampatuan was already examined on June 23 and July 2 last year at the PHC based on the recommendation of Dr. Jaime Claveria, a roving physician at the QC Jail Annex in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan Taguig City, where the accused is detained.

According to his attending physician at the PHC, Dr. Danilo Kuizon, the results of the medical tests showed that he has “normal cardiovascular status, hypertension (treated and controlled), and diabetes mellitus (uncontrolled).”

He was also diagnosed to have a slight enlargement of heart size.

In the motion, Ampatuan’s lawyers noted that months after the said medical examinations, their client continued to suffer severe chest and body pains, sleeplessness, shortness of breath, acute anxiety, diabetes, and other coronary problem.

The lawyers said Claveria, after examining Ampatuan again last February 23, recommended that he undergoes another set of laboratory tests to determine the nature and extent of his ailment.

But they stressed that the laboratory equipment for said tests are unavailable at the Health Services Unit of the QC Jail Annex and in the nearby hospital.

“Not only does the Philippine Heart Center have the complete set of equipment for his (Ampatuan) medical tests, but it has records from previous confinement in the same medical institution,” the lawyers said.

Once the court grants the accused motion, Ampatuan’s camp said it will abide to any logistic, security, or other administrative measures that may be imposed for the purpose of facilitating and supervising the conduct of the medical and laboratory tests.

Ampatuan is among the 197 suspects, who were initially charged for the massacre that killed 58 people, including 32 media workers, at a remote village in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao province on November 23, 2009.

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