MANILA — To allow doctors to examine him thoroughly, Senate Minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile was allowed by the anti-graft court to extend his stay for another 30 days at the PNP General Hospital, the Third Division said on Thursday.
This, after a team of doctors from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) told the Sandiganbayan that it would be better for the former Senate President to be confined in a medical facility instead of on a regular cell.
Enrile is facing one count of plunder and 15 counts of graft at the Sandiganbayan for allegedly pocketing public funds by diverting his Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations to bogus NGOs owned by Janet Lim Napoles.
In a July 15 resolution, which was released to the media Thursday, the anti-graft court’s Third Division said that the Director of the Philippine General Hospital, Dr. Jose Gonzalez, could continue Enrile’s comprehensive medical examination.
“They can bring him to the necessary medical facility, at the PGH or any other government hospital, provided that it is on his personal expense,” Lawyer Dennis Pulma, the Third Division clerk of court told reporters.
Gonzalez appeared in court to give an assessment of Enrile’s health condition following an order from the Sandiganbayan last week. He said Enrile suffers from multiple illnesses including chronic hypertension “dating back from the early 1990s,” which is difficult to control even with multiple drug therapy.
According to Gonzalez, Enrile’s other illnesses are surges of blood pressure beyond critical levels; arrhythmia or irregular heart beat; high cholesterol; high blood sugar/diabetes; balance disorder; bronchial asthma; alpha thalassemia; diffuser atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and age related mascular degeneration in both eyes.
In his recommendation, Gonzalez said that Enrile should be monitored and evaluated, and tests should be conducted “ideally in a hospital setting.”