Claustrophobic Napoles suffers anxiety attack

Posted at 09/02/2013 8:30 AM | Updated as of 09/02/2013 10:04 AM

MANILA (UPDATE) – Janet Lim Napoles, the businesswoman implicated in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam, suffered an anxiety attack inside her detention room in Laguna before dawn Monday, a police official said.

Senior Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson, said Napoles complained of having an anxiety attack at around 3 a.m. due to claustrophobia.

Sindac said Napoles' blood pressure shot up to 180/150 while her blood sugar dropped to 112 milligrams/deciliter.

A nurse at the Fort Santo Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna said Napoles' condition went back to normal at around 4 a.m.

Asked whether today's event is an indication that the Napoles camp will soon ask for a hospital arrest, Sindac said: "Based on what her lawyers said, they will not invoke hospital arrest. But if we will use what happened today as a test of the situation where she had an anxiety attack at 3 a.m. and then became stable at 4 a.m. then it is already a good sign because she was immediately attended to by the medical staff of the facility."

Napoles had a breakfast of ham, egg and rice at around 6 a.m.

Tight security in Fort Sto. Domingo

With the permission of the court, Napoles was transferred from her detention room at the Makati City Jail to Fort Santo Domingo, a police camp in Sta. Rosa, Laguna early Sunday morning.

Security in Fort Sto. Domingo has been tightened for Napoles. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras were installed in the detention facility as well as the visitors' area. The facility is not air-conditioned, but Napoles, who is diabetic, was allowed to bring a small refrigerator for her medicines.

According to Dir. Carmelo Valmoria, commander of the PNP SAF, there is a doctor in the camp in case of medical emergency. He also assured that Napoles will be secured inside the camp.

Cooking is not allowed inside the detention facility. Napoles will depend on the food rations brought to her by the SAF. Cellphones are not allowed inside as well. Visitors, including family members or lawyers, will have to leave their cellphones to the authorities.

Valmoria said Napoles’ friends can visit, but they will have inform security first.

Sindac said Napoles is the only detainee in Fort Sto. Domingo. Around 300 members of the SAF, aside from trainees, are at the camp.

Napoles was ordered arrested by a local court for the serious illegal detention charges filed by her distant relative and former assistant, Benhur Luy, who also tagged her in the multi-billion peso scam that has rocked the nation.

Luy is accusing Napoles of setting up fake non-government organizations to pocket pork barrel funds from certain lawmakers, who in turn allegedly got huge cuts from the deal with the businesswoman.

A case has yet to be filed against Napoles involving the alleged misuse of the pork barrel funds. The government, through the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAGCC), has launched a probe into the scam. – with a report from Doland Castro, ABS-CBN News