Ex-lawmaker detained in Camp Bagong Diwa


THE Sandiganbayan has committed former Rep. Edgar Valdez of the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City (Metro Manila).

The ex-lawmaker will be taken to the facility that is under the control of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) once his health improves.

In a three-page ruling dated February 25, 2015 and issued on Monday afternoon, the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division denied for lack of merit Valdez’s request that he be detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Valdez, 64, is facing plunder and graft charges in connection with alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel when he was still a member of the House of Representatives. He was accused of receiving kickbacks totaling P57.787 million from 2004 to 2010.

Valdez has been staying at the PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame after the court allowed him to be brought there for emergency medical attention.

The court ordered Valdez’s attending physician at the PNP Hospital to submit a report of the medical condition of the accused within 48 hours.

“Once his condition improves, the Order of Commitment shall be given effect,” it said.

Valdez was turned over by authorities to the Sandiganbayan on Wednesday after his voluntary surrender.

The former lawmaker earlier asked that he be detained at the PNP Custodial Center, which has a hospital within its premises, because he is suffering from diabetes and has a spine ailment.

But the court said the medical certificate attached to Valdez’s pleading was issued on July 9, 2013 and was not signed by his alleged attending physician, Dr. Remo Tito Aguilar from St. Louis Hospital in New Isabela, Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.

“The fact stated therein cannot, therefore, be simply taken as true. While it has been stated that the accused was diagnosed with lumbosacral spondylosis, there is no clear indication that his purported medical condition may be aggravated or become life- threatening once accused Valdez [is]confined in a city jail,” it added.

“No other medical certificate was presented by the same accused that he repeated his medical consultation after that time. It is odd, therefore, why the accused would desire to have a hospital within the proximity of his confinement for his medical condition when there appeared no necessity for it,” the court said.

The Sandiganbayan also did not believe Valdez’s claim that he has diabetes because it was not mentioned in the medical certificate he submitted to the court


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