THE alleged mastermind in the Maguindanao Massacre case, former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., was allowed by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) on Monday to check in at a hospital for a medical check-up.
Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Branch 221 granted an urgent motion that sought hospitalization for Ampatuan, who appeared to be sick over the weekend.
The accused had requested admission to Philippine National Police General Hospital in Camp Crame in Quezon City but Reyes ordered that the former governor, 74, be brought instead to Taguig-Pateros District Hospital.
Ampatuan is detained at the Quezon City Jail-Annex inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City (Metro Manila) with most of the other accused in the massacre.
Defense lawyer J. Ricardo Moreño had said his client was suffering from chest and abdominal pains and swelling in his body.
Supt. Joel Bascos, chief medical dispenser in Camp Bagong Diwa, had Ampatuan checked up by a doctor inside the detention cell of the accused on October 28 and later recommended that the patient undergo more tests.
The prosecution, in its comment, maintained that Ampatuan should remain in detention and that specialists should instead go to Camp Bagong Diwa to examine him and take samples for laboratory tests.
“This way, accused would avoid further physical strain by having to travel to and from a hospital and even unduly expose himself to public contagious disease/s from other patients,” prosecutors said.
They added that they would not object if medical specialists recommended that Ampatuan be brought to a hospital for further medical check-up.