Editorial: Special treatment for Janet-A A +A
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
IT OBVIOUSLY has become difficult so far for Janet Lim-Napoles to follow the antics of former high-profile detainees like former presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Consider one scheme they popularized, like “hospital arrest.”
Reports say that Napoles’s blood pressure shot up to 180/150 while her blood sugar dropped to 40 mg/dl at around 3 a.m. yesterday, or hours after she was transferred from the Makati City Jail to Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna. Police said Napoles complained of “anxiety attack due to her claustrophobic disorder.”
No, it didn’t result in Napoles being brought to St. Luke’s hospital on a wheelchair.
Napoles’s lawyers said they won’t use the incident to seek “hospital arrest” for their client. Still, it does look like public mind is being told to prepare for the inevitable.
From photos and video footage that have come out since her surrender, Napoles looks healthy. But now we are told that she has claustrophobic disorder aside from being diabetic.
Claustrophobia, according to Medical News Today, is an anxiety disorder wherein the sufferer is blanketed by an irrational fear of having no escape or being closed-in.
It’s an illness that, her lawyers could argue later, may be worsened by being in a detention cell.
Meanwhile, the effort to protect Napoles has reached the stage wherein female Special Action Force guards are being tasked to “screen” the food given to the inmate to make sure she won’t be poisoned.
It should have been standard procedure for all prisoners, but having “food tasters” was not reported when, say, Estrada and Arroyo were detained. That’s how special the Napoles situation seems to have become.
Yet, the Aquino administration continues to insist that Napoles is not receiving “special treatment,” an act that only increases public perception it is trying to fool the people. The sooner it admits that, indeed, Napoles is being given “special treatment,” the better.
Napoles is a high-profile prisoner linked to a high-profile case, the “P10 billion” pork barrel scam. She can’t therefore be treated like any ordinary prisoner.
By acknowledging that, there won’t have been any reason for the Aquino administration to be defensive with every move it takes to “secure” Napoles.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 04, 2013.