Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

DOJ clears Ubial on Dengvaxia case

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2019

Former Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed a criminal complaint against former Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial on the controversial Dengvaxia case.

Ubial was one of the Department of Health former and present officials who were accused of being liable in the deaths of school children who got inoculated with the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

In a seven-page resolution signed by Assistant State Prosecutor Claire Eufracia Pagayanan, the DOJ said it found no probable cause to charge Ubial with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide based on the complaint filed by former Health Secretary Janette Garin.

The resolution reads, “considering that Garin failed to show the existence of the corpus delicti of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide, the complaint against Ubial shall be dismissed for lack of probable cause.”

The DOJ explained that in order to establish Ubial’s liability on the crime charged there must be a direct causal connection between such negligence and the reported deaths.

The resolution further pointed out that “Garin failed to name a single victim who reportedly died as a result of Ubial’s alleged negligent approval and implementation of community-based Dengue immunization program.”

In her complaint, Garin stressed that the Department of Health (DOH) implemented a school-based dengue immunization program but, when Ubial took over, there was a reckless decision to have it expanded into a community-based program which resulted in the reported deaths.

“Deaths were reported soon after the implementation of Sec. Ubial’s Community-Based Dengue Immunization Program. It must be emphasized that the deaths started during Sec. Ubial’s term as DOH Secretary and afterwards,” Garin pointed out.

Garin further said that the DOH, during her time, preferred the school-based dengue immunization program “because the physical and organizational structure of such a program is already in place considering that Dengvaxia is already the sixth (6th) vaccine introduced in schools.”

It can be recalled that on February 11, the DOJ inked a resolution of finding probable cause to charge Garin and nine other Health officials on the Dengvaxia vaccine mess. – Maris Federez

Tags: , , , , ,

Healthcare funding gap to get bigger if no sin tax increase —DOF

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Saturday, May 18th, 2019

Courtesy : Pixabay & Pexels

The Department of Finance (DOF) said there will be a funding gap of P62 billion for the recently passed Universal Health Care (UHC) if Congress will not increase sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol.

In a press briefing of the DOF and the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday (May 17), DOF Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III said there would be difficulty in implementing the UHC without new sources of revenue.

“If we do not establish new sources of revenue, we will not have enough funds to properly, fully implement Universal Health Care and ensure a better quality of life for all Filipinos,” he said.

He adds that if the increased sin taxes will be approved, the UHC can cover around 120 drugs to Filipinos.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said raising taxes will also reduce consumption leading to better health for Filipinos.

“Sin tax is first and foremost a health measure. When the prices of cigarettes and alcohol are higher, it is harder, especially for the youth to buy these very harmful products. We can only reduce consumption by making these “sin” products less affordable to consumers,” he said.

Both departments also envisioned the Philippines to be one of the healthiest in Asia by 2040. They propose to increase tobacco taxes by P60 per cigarette and P40 per liter of alcohol.

“With 9 days remaining in the 17th Congress, there is still time to collectively take action. We look forward to the support of our counterparts in the legislature, during this crunch time. This is the final round, tapusin na natin ang boksing, (Let’s finish the fight)” Duque added.

Senator Manny Pacquiao filed Senate Bill 1599 which aims to increase tobacco excise tax to P60 per pack in the first year of implementation, and an additional nine percent each year afterwards.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian filed Senate Bill 2177 raising tobacco taxes to P70 per pack while Senator JV Ejercito filed Senate Bill 1605 increasing tobacco taxes to P90 per pack.

Tags: , , , ,

Yosi Kadiri is back for gov’t campaign to increase sin tax on tobacco

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2019

The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Health (DOH) have revived Yosi Kadiri for their campaign to increase sin taxes on tobacco.

Increasing taxes on tobacco will further increase the fund of the expanded Universal Healthcare Law, according to the DOF and DOH.

The Finance and Health department launched a new ad featuring Senator Manny Pacquiao in a fight against the iconic Yosi Kadiri with the campaign’s tagline “Hindi pa tapos ang laban.”

“Pacquaio, who is better known as “Pacman” or the “Pambansang Kamao,” is shown in the new ad as a champion of the Filipino people’s health,” the Department of Finance said in their Facebook statement.

READ: Benefits under the Universal Health Care Act

Their campaign aims to gain more public support as well as call on legislators to pass, the bill increasing “sin” taxes on tobacco products.

Tags: , ,

Rodel Jayme denies knowledge of uploaded ‘Bikoy’ videos

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Rodel Jayme, the alleged uploader of the controversial “Bikoy” videos

Rodel Jayme, the web developer who was tagged as the hooded man in the Bikoy videos, has vehemently denied any knowledge of the “real narcolist” videos that have gone viral on social media.

Jayme reiterated that his conscience is clear and that he never had any participation in the uploading and subsequent sharing of the “Bikoy” videos that implicated the family of President Rodrigo Duterte, former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, and other personalities in the illegal drugs trade.

He added that, “Hindi rin ako si Bikoy na kagaya kinakalat ng ng iba na ako daw yung nagsasalita sa video totally. Wala po akong alam [I’m also not Bikoy, as what others had been spreading as the one in the video. I don’t know anything [about it]).”

Jayme, however, admitted that he was the one who developed the website of Metro Balita.net, but he had never used it to upload or share the Bikoy videos.

The first series of the videos was uploaded on April 2, 2019 in the Facebook page of Metro Balita which was also created by Jayme.

Nevertheless, Jayme said somebody else controls the account.

“Actually, hindi ako ang nag-post, bale yung nagpagawa ang nagpopost noon. Kaya hindi ko alam kung may kasama siya or kung ano ang plano nila basta ang akin lang ako ang naging web master ng website. After noon binigay ko na access sa kanya. Wala na akong kinalaman doon (I wasn’t the one who posted [the videos]. They were posted by the one who asked me to create (the account]. So I don’t know if that person is working with anyone or what their plans are. I was just the webmaster of the website. After I turned over the access to them, I had nothing to do with it anymore),” he added.

Jayme further said that a certain “Maru Nguyen” and “Maru Xie” were the ones who contracted with him for the web accounts.

Meanwhile, an inciting to sedition complaint has been filed against Jayme before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said that based on Jayme’s email and Facebook conversations, the attacks against the government were well-planned and were backed by several personalities.

The complaint has been submitted for resolution at the DOJ. –(with details from April Cenedoza), mbmf

Tags: , , , , , ,