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SINCE October 2009, Manuel Jimenez Jr., the principal suspect in the kidnapping and murder of Ruby Rose Barrameda, has been living comfortably in the Philippine Heart Center (PHC).
His long stay in the government-run hospital has raised many eyebrows. Many question why he can’t be discharged when there is really nothing wrong with him so that his room could be used by other patients.
The doctors, however, cannot “evict” or discharge him because he is a paying patient.
Hospital officials also could not order his attending physician to transfer him to another hospital since a Navotas City court gave explicit orders that Jimenez must not be returned to the Angono Medics Hospital where he was previously confined.
Doctors told The Manila Times only the nurses tasked by Jimenez’s attending physician to administer his medicines can enter the room. Ironically, state doctors could not interfere in the case because they are employed by the government.
Barrameda’s family has been asking the government to send an investigator from the National Bureau of Investigation to check on Jimenez at the PHC.
“We are not even sure if he is still there or not,” said former beauty queen and actress Rochelle Barrameda, elder sister of Ruby Rose.
Jimenez, who is charged with murder, was detained at the Angono town jail before he was transferred to the Angono Medics after he complained of chest pains.
His lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, asked the court to transfer Jimenez to the Heart Center which Topacio said is better equipped.
The request was granted by Regional Trial Court Branch 170 of Navotas Judge Hector Almeyda on May 19, 2009.
When Almeyda retired, Jimenez’s case was raffled off to Judge Zaldy Docena. The Barramedas had asked Docena to be allowed to check if Jimenez was still indeed at the PHC.
Docena granted the request but the ruling was halted through a temporary restraining order issued by the Court of Appeals (CA). Jimenez also asked the appellate court to stop Docena from hearing the case, arguing that the judge was partial to the Barramedas.
Rochelle said she has been seeking an appointment with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to explore options on how to legally evict Jimenez from the PHC.