MANILA—Maguindanao Rep. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu told a Quezon City court to carefully study the request made by convicted murderer and former ARMM governor Zaldy Ampatuan, who asked to be transferred to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) infirmary because of poor health.
Mangudadatu, whose wife was among those killed in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, said he wants the court to make sure that Ampatuan would stay at the Bilibid infirmary.
“If he is as sick as he and his lawyers claimed him to be, then we leave it up for the NBP doctors and experts to determine it. I am not against him seeking medical assistance, as long as it is done within the confines of the NBP infirmary in Muntinlupa," Mangudadatu said in a statement Saturday.
"Hindi po sa Makati Medical Center o sa ano pa mang mamahalin at pribandong hospital, where he is allowed to stay comfortably inside a hospital suite.”
The lawmaker said he was not surprised that Ampatuan sought to be transferred.
“My 10-year court battle with this family showed me how devious and calculating they are. Hindi malayong isipin nila ang option na tumakas. ’Pag nangyari ’yun, magiging napakahirap na para sa ating kapulisan na mahuli silang muli,” Mangudadatu said.
In his urgent motion last Dec. 23, few days after his conviction, Ampatuan cited his “deteriorating and debilitating physical and medical condition” after he suffered three strokes in a span of 2 months, besides dealing with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and chronic atrial fibrillation.
Ampatuan listed 22 medicines he needed to take regularly, besides aggressive therapy and rehabilitation.
Mangudadatu said Ampatuan's motion raised suspicions since it was made public only on Thursday, Jan. 2.
“That alone, raises suspicion. I can only hope that I am wrong for my sake and for the sake of the families who lost their loved ones in the massacre,” he said.
Together with his brothers Andal Ampatuan Jr. alias Unsay and Anwar Ampatuan Sr., and nephews Anwar Jr., alias Datu Ipi and Anwar Sajid alias Datu Ulo, Zaldy was sentenced to reclusion perpetua for the death of 57 victims in the Maguindanao massacre.
Prior to his sentencing last Dec. 19, Zaldy was hospitalized for 58 days since his stroke in October, including confinement in the intensive care unit for a week.