Zaldy Ampatuan seeks hospital detention

Zaldy Ampatuan seeks hospital detention
By Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Another member of the Ampatuan clan is seeking hospital detention.

Suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan has asked the Quezon City court hearing the multiple murder case against his family to allow him to enter a hospital to undergo medical tests.

Saying his health had deteriorated since his detention pending the Maguindanao massacre trial, Ampatuan’s lawyers also sought his transfer to a “capable medical facility” should the results of his check-up warrant it.

“It is humbly implored that such examination be done immediately, in order to forestall any undesirable consequences attendant to any grave and serious illness; likewise, in the event that there is a need to confine Zaldy in a medical institution,” read Ampatuan’s urgent motion for physical examination.

The motion was filed on Friday by lawyer Redemberto Villanueva with Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of QC Regional Trial Court Branch 221.

Ampatuan’s lawyers cited the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights in asking that he be allowed to be examined by a doctor.

“Due to the continued detention of the accused since November 2009, his physical health has deteriorated considerably,” the plea said.

The motion noted that Ampatuan was suffering from shortness of breath, significant weight loss, insomnia, body pains and depression in the Metro Manila District Jail’s Quezon City Jail Annex at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Ampatuan, along with his brother Andal Jr. and other members of their clan, is facing multiple murder charges in the death of 57 people on Nov. 23, 2009 in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Two weeks ago, acting Justice Secretary Alberto Agra created a furor when he dropped Zaldy and an uncle, Akmad Ampatuan, from the murder charges that other clan members and their followers are facing for the massacre of 57 people in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, on Nov. 23, 2009.

State prosecutors filed a motion for reconsideration of Agra’s order, thus Zaldy and Akmad remain in detention.

The Ampatuans and their followers were recently transferred to the QCJA from various jails in Mindanao after the court ruled the murder trial should be held in the Taguig jail compound to minimize security risks.

Former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., Zaldy’s father and another suspect in the massacre, was held under hospital arrest in a military camp in Davao City prior to his transfer to the QCJA.

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.