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NBI evaluating info in probe of 6 hospitals that rejected senior citizen

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is evaluating the information gathered by its Cabanatuan office to determine whether or not to file charges against the six hospitals that allegedly refused to admit an ailing senior citizen.

The NBI's legal and evaluation division (LED) is studying facts gathered from witnesses, CCTV footages, and written explanations from the hospitals involved, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday.

He said the assessment is due "as soon as possible" and is "without prejudice to any additional evidence or fact that may further be uncovered."

"Referral to the LED does not indicate any predisposition to file charges. It's part of the process," he said in a message to reporters.

Guevarra said the Department of Justice received a progress report from the NBI on April 24.

The Justice chief ordered the bureau to look into the incident involving Ladislao Cabling, 65, who died in his house after six hospitals allegedly rejected him when he was having difficulty breathing.

His daughter, Girlie, said the hospitals claimed they no longer had a vacant intensive care unit (ICU) room for her father, who had asthma. She said her father was not even given first aid.

In one of the hospitals, a nurse told her sibling their father was positive for COVID-19 even without performing any test, Girlie recounted.

President Rodrigo Duterte cited this incident two weeks ago when he warned officials of government hospitals of dismissal or suspension if they are found to have rejected any patient. — Nicole-Anne C. Lagrimas/RSJ, GMA News