JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima said the police accorded special treatment to former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. when he was brought to a military hospital using his personal vehicle.

De Lima decried the use of Ampatuan's black Lexxus when an ambulance of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) would have served the same purpose.

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"I don't understand why they allowed that. Ideally, the ambulance of BJMP should be used in bringing inmates to the hospital. So there's some semblance of special treatment there," she said.

A repetition of such deed, De Lima added, should be avoided by the military so it won't be accused of preferential treatment to a suspect.

The DOJ chief said she would also talk to the panel of prosecutors handling the case to check with the court results of the medical tests conducted on Andal Sr.

"I think that he should be brought back to the jail by Friday. The court only allowed few days for him to stay in the hospital," he said.

Andal Sr. requested to be confined at a proper hospital for treatment of his skin ailment, to which the trial court agreed, provided that the court would be appraised of his medical condition.

He is one of the principal accused for the November 23, 2009 massacre of some 57 individuals in a Maguindanao town.

He was brought to the AFP Medical Center from Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig upon the order of Quezon City Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes who was hearing the multiple murder charges against him and some of his family members.

The former governor was being treated for herpes zoster, a viral infection that is associated with chickenpox. Also known as shingles, this virus is characterized by painful skin rashes. (JCV/Sunnex)