Bolante suffering from ulcer

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — JOCELYN “Joc-Joc” Bolante, who was taken directly to the hospital upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, is not afflicted with a life threatening disease.

Results of various tests revealed that the former agriculture undersecretary who remains confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center has gastric ulcer. Doctors said he needs to undergo more tests.

A medical team sent by the Senate confirmed the results of the two medical bulletins issued by the hospital that Bolante has gastric ulcer. The team composed of Dr. Mariano Blancia, Jr., chief of the medical and dental service and Ma.Teresa Mutuc, clinic nurse, visited Bolante, the alleged architect of the fertilizer fund scam, Tuesday morning.

Bolante is under hospital arrest pending his testimony on his alleged involvement in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam. “He is given medications for his gastric ulcer. The MRI and MRA (results) are within normal,” Blancia said.

“Upon review of the chart and the laboratory findings, we confirm the veracity of the two medical bulletins that were issued by Dr. (Romeo) Saavedra,” Blancia said in a report to Senate President Manuel Villar, Jr.

Blancia said that Bolante’s blood pressure, although fluctuating, “is now controlled with the medications given to him.”

In his first medical report dated Oct.30, Saavedra said Bolante has a history of peptic ulcer and has been taking maintenance medication. But all the results of the diagnostics tests done on him, including abdominal ultrasound, “so far are normal.”

However, Saavedra said that the CT scan of Bolante’s chest “showed signs of atheromoatous aorta and coronary arteries, which need to be further investigated.”

In his second medical bulletin dated Nov.3, Saavedra said that Bolante’s complaint of chest pains “may be attributed to the findings of gastric ulcers and esophagitis, but it could also be due to the presence of possible significant narrowing of his coronary arteries.”

Blancia said Bolante will undergo a coronary angiogram “to confirm narrowing of coronary vessels.” The former official was scheduled to undergo a PET scan yesterday.

The doctor said Bolante “was lying in bed and feeling weak occasionally complaining of chest and epigastric pain. Additional complaints were loss of appetite and lack of sleep because of the several tests done on him.”

Sen. Francis Escudero is bent on having Bolante at the Senate, saying his presence is in the national interest.