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Suspension of doctors, nurses sought for operation scandal

Submitted by: N304 Group4 Cabatbat, Ruffa Maniulit, Joel Sese, Nico Sicat, Kathleen 06 February 2012

Suspension of doctors, nurses sought for operation scandal

By Jhunnex Napallacan, Carine M. Asutilla

Cebu Daily News First Posted 14:13:00 05/07/2008 Filed Under: Crime, Law & Justice CEBU CITY, Philippines. The patient who had a perfume canister removed from his rectum at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) is seeking the suspension of the medical staff that made fun of him during the surgery. Guiller Ceniza, lawyer of patient Danilo (real name withheld), said his client would ask the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas to place the seven doctors, five nurses and two clinical instructors under preventive suspension pending investigation. ?That?s important to send a strong message, a stern warning, that what they did was not good. But we will look at the individual participation because the others may simply have been curious and did nothing. Its just to be fair to the others, Ceniza said. Ceniza said they would also file a separate criminal complaint for slander by deed or libel with the Cebu City Prosecutors Office. He said the investigation report of the Visayas Ombudsman delved only on the issue of graft. It did not discuss slander by deed committed by the doctors and nurses during the operation at the Vicente Sotto Medical Memorial Center (VSMMC). Ceniza said they were serious in their plan to file a civil suit for damages before the Regional Trial Court. Ceniza said it was good that they delayed the filing of civil case because now, they had the names of the medical staff based on the evaluation report filed by the Visayas Ombudsman. Last Monday, the Visayas Ombudsman approved the upgrading of the complaint against the medical staff after finding reasonable ground to charge seven doctors, five nurses and two clinical instructors, with violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act). The section holds a person liable for causing any undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.

Any person found guilty of an offense defined by RA 3019 faces a prison term from one to 10 years. Except for the two clinical instructors who were not personnel of the VSMMC, the rest would face an administrative case for grave misconduct, the Ombudsman said in its final evaluation report on the incident. The investigation and the filing of charges stemmed from the uploading of the rectal surgery video to the video sharing website YouTube, which showed the doctors and nurses laughing and making fun of Danilo as they removed a perfume canister from his rectum. The seven doctors are surgeon-in-charge Dr. Phillips Leo Arias; Department of Surgery consultant, Dr. Marlowe B. Parreno; assistant surgeon, Dr. Angelo Linawagan; Dr. Joseph Alfred B. de Leon, who was assigned to handle documentation; resident anesthesiologist, Dr. Joanne Mae M. Merilles; Department of Anesthesiology consultant Dr. Serapio T. Salazar; and Dr. Max Joseph P. Montecillo of the Department of Surgery. The Ombudsman identified the five nurses as operating room nurse supervisor Isabelita R. Remulta; circulating nurse Carmenia C. Sapio; operating room nurse supervisor Consuelo B. Tecling; nurse-on call Ida B. Sumayang; and nursing attendant Rosemarie M. Villareal. The two clinical instructors were Mr. A. Oplado for the University of Southern Philippines and Ramon Penley Monching M. Pandaan for the Southwestern University. Merlo Bagano, legal counsel of Arias, said he would not comment on the Ombudsman's findings as he had yet to receive an official copy of the report. The evaluation report of the Visayas Ombudsman only proved that the investigation conducted by the hospital was done to protect some people, said Ceniza. He said the hospital only recommended the filing of administrative charges against a few people whom it did not name in a press conference. Other personnel were given a stern warning, he added. Ceniza said the names eventually cropped up when Health Secretary Francisco Duque III mentioned some of them. Now, the Ombudsman even identified 14 people. This means that the investigation of VSMMC cannot be trusted. It can be categorized as a whitewash, covering up favored personalities so that they would not be hit by any liabilities, Ceniza said.

Civil Service Commission declares suspension vs. nurse on canister scandal illegal
(The Freeman) Updated February 05, 2009 12:00 AM CEBU - The Civil Service Commission has declared as illegal the three-month suspension of a nurse at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center who was allegedly involved in the controversial canister scandal. The CSC also ordered the hospital management to pay nurse Carmina Sapio her back wages and to let her return to work. Lawyer Joselito Alu, legal counsel of Sapio, said they already received the copy of the final decision that was rendered by the head office of Civil Service Commission in Manila.He explained that the decision said the VSMMC has no jurisdiction and the case is not part of the fact its finding committee, especially the imposition of suspension on Sapio, who was just a circulating nurse at that time when the controversial operation was done. To recall, Alu filed a petition questioning the jurisdiction of the hospital management on the case because it is the Office of the Ombudsman that holds the criminal case pertaining to the so-called Cebu canister scandal.But because Sapio has already served the suspension for 30 days, CSC ordered the VSMMC to pay Sapio her back wages during the time that she was suspended. A 39-year-old homosexual, who underwent minor operation at VSMMC on January 3, 2008 has came out in the open a few months after he underwent the medical procedure and expressed his intention to file charges against the doctors and medical staffs of the hospital who allegedly made fun of him and circulated the video of him while he was undergoing operation. The video footage, which runs for about three minutes, shows an operating team of more than 10 people shouting and laughing while the operation was being performed. The video became controversial after it was circulated in the Internet and cell phones.The doctors and nurses were identified as head surgeon Philips Leo Arias, assistant surgeons Angelo Linawagan and Max Joseph Montecillo, nursing attendant Rosemarie Villareal, and circulating Nurse Carmina Sapio. DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said the three doctors and two nurses would be facing charges for violating hospital protocol together with Dr. Marlowe Parreo, VSMMC consultant; Isabelita Remulta, senior operating room nurse supervisor; Consuelo Tecling, senior operating room nurse and Ida Sumayang, senior operating room nurse. All of them are now back to work after serving months of suspension that was imposed by the DOH. Johanna Natavio/WAB (THE FREEMAN)