• Prosecutors wary of Dimaporo bid for hospital arrest

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    State lawyers are wary of the heart ailment that has hospitalized Lanao del Norte Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo, saying the findings are still inconclusive to warrant a hospital arrest.

    “The prosecution strongly objects to (Dimaporo’s) prayer that he be placed under hospital arrest while his petition for bail is heard by the Sandiganbayan,” lawyers said in their plea.

    According to the Ombudsman, the certification from Dr. Abdel Hussein Lucman has not made a thorough examination of Dimaporo who complained of “progressive chest pain, crushing in character, associate with dizziness and headache.”

    The fiscals said Lucman “merely stated” that Lucman merely referred Dimaporo to the cardiology department of the hospital “to consider” acute myocardial infarction.

    Dimaporo “could not have been undergoing treatment for acute myocardial infarction when his attending physician has not, in fact, made a complete diagnosis of the nature of his illness,” the opposition read.

    The prosecutors said the lawyers of the congressmen still have to submit the medical findings, laboratory results and diagnostic examination done on Dimaporo.

    Even if the defense submitted the results, “such medical findings cannot be taken hook, line and sinker” since Lucman is a private physician, they said.

    Medical certificates submitted to the court should be furnished by doctors of state hospitals, if not public doctors. Dimaporo’s certification was not even notarized, they said.

    The defense also failed to argue how Dimaporo will face threatening risks if he is detained in a regular facility, the Ombudsman said.

    The lawyers questioned the timing of the submission of the plea for hospital confinement, saying the “illness supposedly happened on the very same day that the court denied [Dimaporo’s] motion.”

    “Indeed, the act of [Dimaporo] in placing himself under hospital confinement under the guise of some purported illness, to evade the proper implement of the warrant of arrest cannot be countenanced,” they said.

    The Ombudsman urged the Sandiganbayan to deny Dimaporo’s motion for hospital detention in one of the suites of Cardinal Santos Medical Center, given that the posh hospital will accord upon the lawmaker “amenities and comfort of a hotel.”

    Dimaporo is charged with graft and malversation before the Sandiganbayan for the alleged release of P5 million to Lanao Foundation Inc. to purchase 10,000 bags of Saka Organic fertilizer which reportedly did not reach intended farmers, the main beneficiaries in the multi-million controversy surrounding the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.

    JOHN CONSTANTINE G. CORDON

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