A medical officer of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) denied the existence of "hospital stay for sale" scheme for inmates, but bared that some inmates offer money to doctors.
New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Hospital Corrections Technical Chief Inspector Ursicio Cenas made the testimony during a Senate probe on Thursday, stressing that it was his patient and accuser, former Valencia City, Bukidnon mayor Jose Galario Jr., who insisted that he take the money as gift.
“[The hospital for sale scheme is] not true po. Can I explain this? [Halimbawa] kailangan magpadala ng medical staff sa Building 14 kasi may pasyente. Ang nurse supervisor namin pupunta sa opisina ko para sabihin na may pasyente sa building 14. Kapag kayang gamutin sa Building 14 ginagamot na namin doon,” Cenas said, referring to one of the prison cells at NBP.
Cenas said many factors affect the reason inmates are not discharged immediately from hospital confinement such as lack of resources.
“Minsan po, kailangan ng lung biopsy, ang problema po, scheduling…kung paano ilalabas ang pasyente. Minsan walang transportation, or kung may transportation, walang pang-gas,” Cenas said.
Galario, a graft convict, alleged that inmates convicted of drug cases stay as long as one month in the hospital under Cenas’ watch in exchange of money.
“Kaya ko nalalaman na may transaction kasi yung kanilang watchman malapit lang sa akin, tumitingin siya sa entrance galing sa main entrance ng mga ospital. Kapag may BuCor officer sinasabi ng watchman na may BuCor, SAF. Hindi sila masyadong natatakot sa BuCor. Kapag SAF (Special Action Force) na para silang nagkakagulo dyan. May mga pumupunta kasi doon na BuCor para mangotong lang," he said.
Cenas countered that what Galerio wants is not a hospital pass but a medical abstract that is needed for his application for executive clemency.
“Hindi ko nga po maintindihan bakit kailangan niya ng emergency hospital referral sa Heart Center, the NKTI (National Kidney and Transplant Institute), at medical abstract para po sa executive clemency na hinihingi niya,” Cenas said.
Pressed by Senators Bong Go and Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa if he indeed received a payoff, Cenas could not explicitly said that he turned the money down.
“Alam ko po galing sa puso niya iyon. Tinatanggihan ko po talaga,pero iniiwan po sa table ko…tinatanggihan ko po talaga iyon,” Cenas said.
“Pareho kaming Bisaya e. Nakabalot lang po sa papel, hindi ko nga po alam magkano, iniiwan lang po sa table ko,” Cenas added. —LDF, GMA News