MANILA (UPDATED) - The Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 has approved the petition of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to undergo surgery and hospital confinement.
However, Makati RTC Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda did not allow Napoles to be confined at her chosen hospital, the St. Luke's Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
Instead, Napoles was allowed to undergo surgery and confinement at the Ospital ng Makati, a government hospital.
The court, citing humanitarian reasons, said it found "sufficient basis" on the plea of Napoles.
Alameda earlier said that while he understands the medical condition of Napoles, the businesswoman is still a detainee and thus cannot choose the hospital where she will be confined.
"Mas pinili po niya yung government hospital... Kasi siyempre tinitingnan din po ng korte yung pangangaliangan ng akusado lalo na we put in issue here the health of the accused," Makati RTC Branch 150 clerk of court Diosfa Valencia said on Friday.
"Tinitimbang din po ng korte... Kailangan din po safe siya at matutugunan din po yung pangangailangan niyang medikal," she added.
The court ordered Napoles to shoulder all her medical expenses.
It directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 4-A to arrange Napoles' security and travel to the hospital.
Napoles, in her motion filed last March 4, is seeking leave for medical treatment for a 6-centimeter growth in her uterus, a condition known as myoma uteri.
During last Friday's hearing, Napoles complained of severe abdominal pain that she requested that she be allowed to see a doctor immediately afterwards.
Her request was approved by the court, and she was brought to Ospital ng Makati to undergo medical check-up.
She was later brought back to her detention cell in Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna after doctors saw no urgent need for her to be confined at the hospital.
Napoles, who is facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman over the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam, is currently detained in Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for a serious illegal detention case filed by key whistleblower Benhur Luy. -- With reports from Zhander Cayabyab, dzMM; Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News