Former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. is now breathing through a machine, while still confined at the AFP Medical Center in Quezon City, the military said.

“He (Ampatuan) is being assisted by a mechanical ventilator,” Armed Forces spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos said in a briefing.

“The present working impression is that he’s (Ampatuan) suffering from pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulnobary disease, and chronic alcoholic liver disease,” Burgos told reporters.

The former governor was also scheduled to undergo whole abdominal utrasound on Monday, Burgos added.

Mechanical ventilation, according to doctors, is a method to mechanically assist or replace spontaneous breathing. It involves the insertion of a tube into the trachea, or windpipe, to pump air directly to the lungs.

“It can be considered both as life support or not, because there are patients who need help in breathing when unconscious and there are some who are conscious yet need aid in breathing due to obstructions like phlegm,” a government doctor told Bandera.

Ampatuan, a suspect in the killing of 57 people in Maguindanao in 2009, was let out of the Metro Manila District Jail in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, on Friday after reportedly vomitting blood.

He was first taken to the Taguig-Pateros Hospital but reportedly had to be transferred to the AFP Medical Center because of the establishment’s limited facilities. (John Roson)

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