MANILA -- The Ampatuan patriarch who is primary suspect in the murder of 57 people in Maguindanao province is now undergoing treatment for a skin disease known as herpes zoster or shingles.

Andal Ampatuan Sr. was transferred from his detention cell in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City to Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center in Quezon City based on an order issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

Television reports Tuesday morning said Ampatuan will be staying at the hospital for one to two weeks. He was separated from other patients and is being treated for humanitarian reasons.

The doctors said although Ampatuans's condition is not a life threatening disease, he still needs to be brought to a hospital as complications might occur due to his age.

Ampatuan is 70 years old and is suffering from several illnesses, including high blood pressure. He was accused of masterminding the Maguindanao massacre that killed 57 people, including 30 journalists, last year.

Personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology will reportedly take charge of the security of the massacre suspect. (Sunnex)