MANILA -- The Makati Regional Trial Court on Tuesday heard the testimony of an obstetrics and gynecology expert in connection with the petition of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to be confined at the St. Luke's Medical Center.
Dr. Santiago Del Rosario, chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Makati Medical Center, gave his opinion on the medical condition of Napoles based on existing tests and reports from Napoles' attending physician.
Del Rosario believes Napoles is suffering from abnormal bleeding, considering her age and documents presented in court showing an alleged drop of 2 grams in the patient's hemoglobin level.
He said one of the possibilities that has to be considered in Napoles' condition is cancer, and this can only be determined through a biopsy. He said the procedure should be done immediately.
"Normally, Filipinas stop menstruating by 49.6 years of age. Napoles is already 50. Kapag may bleeding, baka may cancer. You have to consider this even if it is only a minor possibility. With cancer, any delay in treatment will spell the difference between cure and non-cure," he said.
Del Rosario, however, admitted that Napoles' condition is experienced by 40 percent of women above 40 years old.
The doctor appeared before the court on Tuesday at the request of Napoles, but he insisted that he was "neutral."
NAPOLES IS 'JENNY TAN'
Meanwhile, confusion erupted in the courtroom when it was discovered that one of the tests showing a lower hemoglobin count was actually not under Napoles' name, but that of a certain Jenny Tan.
The prosecution then pounced on the discovery and asked that the doctor who performed the test in question, identified as Dr. Rommel Aguirre, be subpoenaed by the court.
"It might mean that the expert witness was misled," said prosecutor Christopher Garvida.
The defense, however, claimed that Tan and Napoles are one and the same, and that the former is just an alias for security purposes. They vowed to prove this before the court.
Napoles is seeking leave for medical treatment at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig for a 6-centimeter growth in her uterus, a condition known as myoma uteri.
Philippine National Police (PNP) doctors have testified previously that Napoles' condition is not life-threatening.
The next hearing is set on March 21.