Revilla wants medical checkup at St. Luke’s

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Detained Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., who is on trial for plunder for alleged involvement in the pork barrel fund scam, has asked the Sandiganbayan to allow him to undergo a medical checkup at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig.

In a motion filed before the anti-graft court’s First Division by his lawyer Joel Bodegon yesterday, Revilla also sought permission to undergo diagnostic tests in view of his “migraine… lumbo-sacral radiculopathy secondary to spondylosis, hypertension… and dsylipidemia.”

The Third and Fifth Divisions of the Sandiganbayan earlier allowed Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, who were also charged with plunder over the pork barrel scam, to undergo medical check-ups at the Philippine General Hospital and the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.

Revilla’s doctor Ma. Cristina Macrohon-Valdez said the lawmaker needs to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiogram of the brain.

Revilla’s medical certificate also states that he should undergo lumbo-sacral MRI and blood chemistry test, which are not available at the PNP General Hospital at Camp Crame.

Abad’s nephew

In yesterday’s bail hearing, Bodegon said Ronald Aguto, the chief of the National Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrime Division that conducted the forensic examination on the external hard drive and the digital files of whistle-blower Benhur Luy, is related to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

NBI special investigator Joel Narciso testified that Aguto gave him Luy’s hard drive containing the digital files of supposed pork barrel fund disbursements since 2004 for examination.

Aguto earlier told the Senate hearing on the pork barrel scam that they were able to recover some deleted files in Luy’s digital hard drive.

Also on cross-examination it was established that at least three digital files underwent “possible modifications” since these were saved on various dates in 2013.

SC junks Cam’s plea

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court (SC) junked the petition of former whistle-blower Sandra Cam against alleged government surveillance on her after claiming she had the list of lawmakers and personalities tagged by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles in her tell-all account of the pork barrel scam last May.

In a seven-page resolution promulgated on Oct. 14, the high court dismissed Cam’s petition for writ of habeas data seeking to stop the government from allegedly spying on her.

The SC held that petitioner failed to establish the requirement to be granted the writ she sought.

“The subject petition was filed directly with this Court. However, there is no allegation to the effect that the subject petition involves or concerns public data files of government offices. Rather, the subject petition principally involves alleged menacing surveillance activities through unidentified and unregistered vehicles,” read the ruling signed by SC clerk of court Enriqueta Vidal.

“Petitioner’s allegations are not supported by credible, independent and corroborative evidence,” the ruling also stated.

The SC also set aside the allegation of Cam that President Aquino “willfully suppressed the right of the people to information on matters of public concern relative to the ‘Napolist’,” saying the issue is outside the ambit of the writ.

“Petitioner may pursue such claims in a proper suit, invoking her constitutional right to information under Article III, Section7 (10) of the Constitution, if she is so minded,” the ruling stated. – With Edu Punay


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