MANILA, Philippines – Controversial former Agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante is in a stable and normal condition, according to a medical bulletin released by St. Luke’s Medical Center, where he is currently confined.
Dr. Romeo Saavedra, Bolante’s attending physician, read the bulletin in a press conference aired over radio dzBB.
Saavedra said almost all test results on Bolante were normal except for CT scans on his aorta and arteries, which the speaker said need to be probed further. He also noted the hardening of blood vessels in Bolante’s heart as well as his “significant” weight loss.
“Stable siya pero (but) he needs to be subjected to further examination just to be sure he’s really stable,” Saavedra said, adding that the full results of the examinations are likely to be released Monday.
“But since he also has hardening of blood vessels in his heart, he needs to be further investigated,” Saavedra added.
This afternoon Bolante will subjected to a stress test, which includes a treadmill exercise. He will also undergo peptic ulcer check-ups Friday, Saavedra said.
Bolante became controversial when he allegedly funneled P728 million worth of fertilizer funds to President Arroyo’s campaign kitty in 2004. He fled the country in 2005 to escape a Senate inquiry on the issue.
After two years in detention at the United States, he arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Tuesday night. He was then whisked to SLMC where he remains under hospital arrest guarded by personnel from the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms, which has ordered his arrest.
Asked if Bolante can handle a Senate inquiry, Saavedra said it will depend on the results of their further investigation. He said in the meantime, the former government official needs to be confined.