Detainees hit Gigi special treatment

Posted at 07/12/14 9:52 AM

MANILA, Philippines - With a blood pressure of 100/70, Jessica “Gigi” Reyes remained confined in a hospital yesterday for supposed hypertension and panic attack, prompting complaints from a group of former detainees.

“Whether her sickeness was real or imagined, Gigi Reyes’ swift hospitalization without the need for a court order is another showcase of the government’s soft spot for those accused of plunder,” said Roneo Clamor, spokesperson for the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA).

Reyes filed yesterday an urgent motion requesting her transfer to either the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City or the Sta. Ana Hospital in Sta. Ana, Manila.

She was supposed to be transferred to Sta. Ana last night from the Taguig-Pateros Hospital, where she was rushed from Camp Bagong Diwa (CBD) in Taguig supposedly for anxiety attack, dyspepsia, heart problem and hypertension.

“If such ailments were the bases for Reyes’ hospitalization, then the 50 other ailing political prisoners should be accorded the same,” Clamor said. “Most of them are elderly. Based on our experience, it takes at least a month for the court to process our motion for medical checkup.”

Clamor said detainees at Camp Bagong Diwa described Reyes’ brief stay at the CBD female dormitory thus: “Nag-hysteria lang dinala na sa ospital (For mere hysterics she was taken to hospital).”

Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, has been charged with plunder before the Sandiganbayan, along with her former boss and Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.

“Reyes had not even seen her cell when she went into hysterics,” a SELDA member said.

Reyes arrived at the CBD female dormitory at around 11 p.m. on July 9 from the Sandiganbayan detention facility.

Clamor said several detainees have died in jail without getting medical attention.

“What happened to Andrea Rosal and her daughter Diona is still fresh in our collective memory,” he said, referring to a daughter of the late New People’s Army chief Gregorio Rosal, who suffered a miscarriage while in detention.

Reyes failed to attend her arraignment for plunder at the Sandiganbayan yesterday after her police custodians were advised by her doctors to let her stay at the Taguig-Pateros District Hospital because she was allegedly feeling dizzy and wouldn’t eat.

Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) spokesperson Inspector Aris Villaester said they did not bring Reyes to the anti-graft court because they had no clearance from the hospital.

Reports about Reyes’ health were conflicting.

In a medical bulletin released at 9 a.m. yesterday, the Taguig Pateros District Hospital said Reyes no longer had headaches and palpitation. It added that the back pain Reyes was complaining about had eased. Reyes’ blood pressure yesterday morning was 100/70.

“Other physical findings and neurologic examination were unremarkable other than twitching of her eyelid,” a report released by her attending physician Anthony Lontoc showed.

In her motion for transfer to Philippine Heart Center or Sta. Ana Hospital, Reyes cited a clinical abstract or report from Lontoc.

Reyes, in her motion, also asked the Sandiganbayan that she be detained at the PNP custodial center after she gets better so she can be close to PNPGH. – Mike Frialde, Michael Punongbayan, Perseus Echeminada