'Andal Sr. confinement cause for concern'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2012 06:36 PM | Updated as of Mar 11 2012 05:57 AM

MANILA, Philippines – One of the private prosecutors in the Maguindanao massacre case on Saturday expressed concern over the hospitalization of former Maguindano Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr.

Speaking to ANC’s “Top Story”, Atty. Harry Roque Jr. said his camp will take the necessary steps “to ensure that his stay in the hospital is for medical necessity and not because he wants the convenience of hospital arrest.”

Roque noted that while Ampatuan’s health is a priority, his hospitalization remains to be a cause for concern.

“We wish him well, however, as an advocate you cannot blame us if we are a bit concerned because in the past, we have been right when we said that the patriarch of the Ampatuan clan would prefer hospital arrest,” Roque said.

“Please recall in his last confinement in the Heart Center, until the very last minute, his lawyers and doctors were insisting that he required hospitalization, and when the court did not allow, he was brought back to Bicutan and everything was fine with him,” he added.

Roque said his camp will file the appropriate pleading as soon as the court resumes on Monday.

“We want to hear from Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) why unilaterally they transferred Ampal Ampataun Sr. to V. Luna without prior court approval. We understand that he might be suffering from pneumonia. We believe that pneumonia does have signs, I think they had ample opportunity to ask the court to transfer him to a medical facility if indeed warranted, but all these are speculative,” said Roque.

Andal Sr. is one of the suspects in the massacre of at least 57 people in the town of Ampatuan.

He was diagnosed with pneumonia but is now in stable condition at the V. Luna Medical Center, according to acting PIO Lt. Col. Jerome Ochoco.

He was transferred to V. Luna hospital on Friday afternoon from the Taguig Pateros Hospital after vomiting blood and experiencing difficulty breathing.