Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes was rushed to a hospital on Thursday, complaining of a panic attack and seizure after her detention at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City (Metro Manila).
Reyes brought to the Taguig-Pateros District Hospital, the nearest government hospital to Camp Bagong Diwa, after her blood pressure rose and she suffered a violent seizure, according to her lawyers.
Reyes, an accused in the plunder case stemming from the pork barrel scam, was transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa from the Sandiganbayan detention facility late Wednesday night.
Citing her panic attack, she has appealed the Sandiganbayan’s decision denying her request to be detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame in Quezon City, where senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada are being detained.
A third senator accused in the case, Juan Ponce Enrile, is confined at the PNP General Hospital inside Camp Crame, the PNP’s headquarters.
In her appeal, Reyes said she had a panic attack followed by a seizure after she was booked at the Camp Bagong Diwa’s detention dormitory for women. She attached a report from the Taguig hospital stating that she was suffering from hypertensive urgency and neurocirculatory esthemia.
Reyes needs further tests for seizure disorder and to rule out cardiac arrhythmia because of her history of dyspepsia, coronary artery disease, Bell’s Palsy and seizure attack, the report recommended.
The report said Reyes was given oxygen supplementation and intravenous hydration. She was also given Diazepam IV as medication.
As of 5:30 a.m. Thursday, her blood pressure has normalized at 130/90 from 170/110 when she was rushed to the hospital
Reyes also cited the danger she faces if she is locked up at Camp Bagong Diwa, saying she shares the cell with nine female members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who are “hostile and antagonistic” to her former boss, Enrile.
Enrile was Defense minister during martial law. The senator has also requested the Sandiganbayan to put him under hospital arrest because of his frail health.
The anti-graft court deferred action on the senator’s request pending his evaluation by government doctors.
In pleading to be transferred to the PNP Custodial Center, Reyes said even if she recovers, she could suffer another panic attack or seizure if she stayed at Camp Bagong Diwa.
Reyes’ panic attack baffled Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, who pointed out that no such attacks happened when Reyes was detained for five days at the Sandiganbayan.
“What caused your client’s panic attack? She has been temporarily detained here in the Sandiganbayan for five days and has been constantly monitored by our doctors and her doctor. There has been no report of [her]severe panic attack at all,” Tang told Reyes lawyer, Anacleto Diaz.
Diaz said it was the Camp Bagong Diwa facility itself that triggered Reyes’ panic attack.
“I was there and we had to carry her to the hospital,” he added.
Prosecutor Edwin Gomez opposed Reyes’ motion, saying there is no guarantee that she will no longer have panic attacks once she is transferred to Camp Crame.
“Other detainees experience panic attacks, too. If we allow Attorney Reyes to be transferred based on this, then we will be putting her above all the other detainees,” Gomez added.
Also on Thursday, a team of doctors from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) checked on Enrile, who is temporarily detained at the PNP General Hospital. The team conducted a series of medical procedures on the 90-year-old senator.
The result of Enrile’s medical tests will be forwarded to the Sandiganbayan on Monday.
The director of the PNP Health Service, Chief Supt. Alejandro Advincula, said they plan to install a machine to monitor the blood pressure of the senator.
With Anthony Vargas