MANILA—A Quezon City court has allowed Zaldy Ampatuan, the prime suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, to be transferred to the Philippine Heart Center after being diagnosed with a number of cardiac ailments.
The QC Regional Trial Court Branch 221, however, denied the former ARMM governor's alternative request that he be brought to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig should he be denied admission at the Heart Center.
"Accused’s counsel is directed to submit to the court the result of accused’s medical/laboratory examinations and/or medical abstract within 48 hours from its receipt, furnishing a copy thereof to the panel of prosecutors," the 3-page order read.
In an urgent ex parte motion for transfer dated June 24, Ampatuan's counsel said his client suffered "shortness of breath, dizziness and increase in blood pressure" that same day.
He was then brought to the Taguig-Pateros Hospital, where he was diagnosed with cardiovascular infarction, hypoglycemia secondary to oral hypoglycemia agents, and congestive heart failure.
Ampatuan is among over 190 individuals accused of the gruesome killing of 58 people on November 23, 2009, also known as the ‘Maguindanao massacre,’ the worst election-related violence in Philippine history and the single worst attack on journalists in the world. —Report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News