BY LISA C. ITO
While the Department of Justice (DOJ) seems to be hell-bent on keeping 73-year old Crispin Beltran detained at a Camp Crame hospital, doctors and psychiatrists are recommending his transfer to a hospital with adequate facilities. This, they say, is the only way to significantly lessen his chances of having a possibly fatal stroke.
The court battle to get Anakpawis Party-list Representative Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran out of jail is not just a quest for justice, it is now a race of time to save Ka Bel’s life.
While the Department of Justice (DOJ) seems to be hell-bent on keeping Beltran detained at a Camp Crame hospital, doctors and psychiatrists are recommending his urgent transfer to a hospital of his choice with adequate facilities. This, they say, is the only way to significantly lessen his chances of having a possibly fatal stroke.
At the hearing before the Makati Regional Trial Court (MRTC) Branch 137 on April 7, Beltran’s lawyers, doctors, and psychiatrists pressed for an Omnibus Motion to resolve the pending urgent Motion of Release and to allow Beltran to be transferred to a hospital with adequate facilities.
Lawyer Romeo Capulong of the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) appealed that Beltran be immediately released or be allowed to avail himself of the protective custody of the House of Representatives and be transferred to a hospital with adequate facilities.
The 73-year old congressman, possibly among the oldest political detainees in the country, has a history of ailments that make his continuing detention in Camp Crame a hazard to his health and well-being.
Beltran suffered from a mild stroke in June 2005. He was confined for a week at the Far Eastern University Hospital and was discharged with home medications. In 2003, he was confined for a week at the Philippine Heart Center for chest pains related to angina, a heart ailment.
Before MRTC Branch 137 Judge Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino, Beltran’s lawyers presented three medical reports from doctors and a psychiatrist who previously examined Beltran this April.
The first two documents were a Medical Report issued by cardiologist Dr. Roberto A. Raymundo of the Philippine Heart Center last April 6, and another Medical Report issued by Health Action for Human Right (HAHR) physicians Dr. Romeo F. Quijano, Reginaldo L. Pamugas, and Melani Hernandez-Sionzon also on April 6.
Beltran was confined in Room 1 of the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital since March 2 this year, for hypertension and unstable blood pressure levels.
While his blood pressure has since then stabilized, doctors agree that Beltran’s first stroke last year makes him a prime target for another stroke.
“Clinically, [Beltran] appears stable cardiovascular wise. However, because of his history of a previous hypertensive bleed, he remains at high risk for developing a second stroke,” Raymundo said.
“His condition is life-threatening. He suffered from cerebrovascular hypertensive bleed last June 2005. This may occur again anytime,” the medical doctors from HAHR noted.
Other diseases and ailments noted in their diagnosis included hypercholesterolemia, gouty arthritis, nutritional anemia, diabetes mellitus Type 2, and hypertensive cardiovascular disease.
“Considering that he is an elderly and that he has a life-threatening illness, we strongly recommend that Cong. Beltran be immediately transferred to and confined in a hospital of his choice for further laboratory work-up and proper medical evaluation and management,” they added.