How high-profile inmates end up in private hospitals

Posted at 06/03/2014 6:22 PM | Updated as of 06/04/2014 2:03 AM

MANILA - How do high-profile inmates end up in private hospitals?

According to New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Supt. Fajardo Lansangan, inmates can seek treatment from their private doctors outside the prison if the NBP Hospital cannot treat their ailments.

He said an inmate is first diagnosed at the NBP Hospital. If the NBP doctors cannot treat the illness, there will be a "coordination" between the NBP Hospital and the private doctor of the patient-inmate. This is how some inmates would end up in Asian Hospital and Medical Center (AHMC) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City or the Metropolitan Hospital in Manila.

"If the patient cannot afford a private hospital, we refer the case to public hospitals such as Philippine General Hospital," he said in an interview on ANC Top Story.

Lansangan said the request of the patient to seek treatment outside the prison is still subject to the approval of the Department of Justice.

He also confirmed that in "emergency" cases, some patients are brought to private hospitals even without a court order.

"Opo, linalabas po at sine-secure din po. May kasama po silang nars namin papunta sa ospital," he said.

"Kailangan madala dahil mahirap naman kung may mangyari dahil emergency," he added.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima earlier ordered Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan to investigate the alleged special treatment being showered on high-profile inmates in NBP. This is following reports that female entertainers were brought inside the hospital room of a "recovering inmate."

At least 3 high-profile NBP inmates were taken to private hospitals in May.

Convicted drug lord Ricardo Camata, a leader of the Sigue Sigue Sputnik gang, was admitted to the Metropolitan Hospital in Manila to receive treatment for a lung ailment.

However, starlets and dancers were reportedly brought inside his hospital room, in violation of whatever pass he may have been granted.

Convict Herbert Colangco, leader of a bank robbery gang responsible for a series of robberies in Pampanga, Quezon City, and Paranaque between 2003 and 2005, and believed to be allied with the Waray Waray and Ozamis robbery gangs, was also bought to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang for urinary tract infection.

Convicted drug lord Amin Buratong, who used to operate the P900-million shabu tiangge in Pasig City, was taken to Medical City due to recurring coronary artery disease and a liver ailment.

Bank robbery gang leader Herbert alias "Ampang" Colangco, meanwhile, was brought to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center.

In the interview, Lansangan said he is still waiting for the result of the investigation that female entertainers were allowed inside Camata's room.