Court allows peace consultant to undergo medical check-up

Counterclockwise (Satur Ocampo, Exuperio Lloren, Dario Tomado, Fides Lim, Vic Ladlad and Oscar Belleza discuss one of the state witnesses’ testimony during a short break in the Hilongos case hearing in Manila court. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / Bulatlat)

MANILA — A local court in Manila has allowed Vicente Ladlad, peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), to undergo medical check-up as soon as possible.

Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina of Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 granted the motion filed by Ladlad’s lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno on humanitarian grounds, July 15. The court ordered the jail warden of the Metro Manila District Jail Annex 4 to bring Ladlad to Makati Medical Center for check-up and treatment.

Ladlad, 70, suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) as well as hypertension and premature heartbeat.

In his letter addressed to Bunyi-Medina dated July 1, Ladlad described his condition in jail, “At present, I often get sick in prison, requiring constant treatment with antibiotics, nebulizer, etc… Because of my frail health and advancing age, I can have a sever asthma attack, pneumonia, stroke or heart attack at any time that would require me to be brought to a hospital in not more than 20 minutes.”

Ladlad said the warden at the MMDJ District 4 requires that a sick detainee must secure a court order before he/she can be brought to a hospital. He cited the case of Eduardo Serrano who died from a heart attack in January 2016. It took Serrano two days before he was given the court order allowing him to brought to the Philippine Heart Center.

Ladlad’s wife Fides Lim lamented the prosecutor’s opposition to the medical motion.

“I would have wanted to thank the prosecution too for possibly an unexpected small mercy. But the ‘Opposition’ it filed against Vic’s medical motion is only too clear about its high regard for neither the right to health nor the right to life, and its incapacity to appreciate the difference between a tiny prison clinic and a real hospital—unless your name is Imelda or Gloria or Enrile,” Lim said in a Facebook post.

Lim reiterated that the charges against her husband are all fabricated and based on fake evidence. She called the case in Manila as the “case of traveling skeletons” wherein bones were transferred from Baybay, Leyte to Hilongos, Leyte and the case in Quezon City as “fake case of planted firearms” against Ladlad and the Villamor couple.

Lim said there are many other political prisoners like her husband who are likewise victims of this administration’s trumped-up cases of planted firearms and are very sick. She cited Frank Fernandez, 71, who suffered from a stroke and Ge-Ann Perez, who has leprosy.

Already, three have died for lack of adequate medical attention and urgent treatment.

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