Duterte honors wounded, slain cops in CamSur ambush

admin   •   October 24, 2018   •   3628

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte commiserates with the relatives of one of the slain police officers during his visit at the Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office in Naga City on October 23, 2018. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOT

President Duterte went to Camarines Sur on Tuesday (October 23) where he visited the three policemen who were wounded in the ambush against the convoy of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Nela Charade Puno in Brgy. Napolidad, Lupi, Camarines Sur last October 18.

The President bestowed the Order of Lapu-Lapu with rank of Kampilan to the three injured cops.

The Kampilan is awarded to government personnel and private individuals who were seriously wounded while carrying out activities related to the President’s advocacy.

Duterte also personally sent condolences to the families of the three other cops who died in the incident, namely, SPO1 Percival Rafael Jr. PO3 Carlito Navaroza Jr. and PO1 Ralph Jason Vida.

He visited the wake of PO1 Vida in Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office and awarded him the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the rank of Kalasag.

Kalasag is given to officials, government personnel and private individuals who lost their lives as a direct result of their participation in tasks pursuant to a campaign or advocacy of the President.

Duterte was joined by FDA Director General Puno whom the wounded police personnel were escorting the day of the incident.

“Maraming maraming salamat sa lahat ng mga nagligtas ng buhay ng Team FDA. Sa mga pulis na nasaktan at mga pulis na namatay, nakakagalit. Si Presidente po ay siguradong hindi papayagan na ganito lang ang mangyari,” said Puno.

President Duterte did not provide any statement to the media, however, Philippine Army 9TH Infantry Battalion Division commanding general MGen. Jesus Manangquil said that Duterte has instructed the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police to intensify the localized peace talks with the New People’s Army, who are responsible for the ambush.

“Nanawagan pa rin ulit kami sa mga nandirito na gumagala sa bundok na mag-usap, mapag-usapan through localized dialogue o peace initiative. Lalong lalo na napakaganda ng iminumungkahi ng ating gobyerno with the package na may pabahay na worth 450,000 na pabahay sa mga mag-susurender na NPA,” said the commanding general. — Yssa Jalmasco (with reports from Allan Manansala)

Duterte ‘puzzled’ over FDA advice on Sinovac use for health workers – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte was perplexed by the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not to use the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine on health workers who are frequently exposed to patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Malacañang said Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president has asked FDA Director-General Eric Domingo to explain such recommendation after the agency’s issuance of an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Sinovac.

“Si president po mismo, nagtataka bakit nga ganuon nga ang naging EUA ng FDA at pinatawag po talaga si Dr. Domingo ng huling cabinet meeting… Naiparating ng president ang pagtataka kung bakit may ganitong colatilla,” Roque said.

Domingo explained that the vaccine’s efficacy rate on healthcare workers is 50.4% based on Sinovac’s clinical trials conducted in Brazil, making it not the best vaccine suited for healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients.

The FDA chief, however, stressed that this is only a recommendation and healthcare workers are not prohibited from receiving Sinovac if they chose to.

“Nirerespeto po ni president ang mga opinion ng mga experts kaya let the colatilla remain,” Roque said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

DOH, FDA to probe Mon Tulfo’s alleged use of unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday said they would investigate reports on the use of smuggled vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The DOH issued the statement following the admission of Special Envoy to China Ramon Tulfo that he received coronavirus jabs from China’s Sinopharm, which has not yet been authorized for use in the country.

Tulfo on Tuesday said he got inoculated with illegally procured vaccine last year with some Cabinet officials, a lawmaker and some of President Rodrigo Duterte’s security team.

The DOH warned the public that the use and distribution of smuggled vaccine is illegal.

“Ito po ay makakasama sa imbestigasyon and all of these things kapag nakita natin na hindi naayon sa mga batas na meron tayo dito sa ating bansa will be considered illegal,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual briefing.

“Kung sinoman po yung mga kababayan natin, distributors or suppliers na nagbibigay ng mga bakuna na wala pang emergency use authority ay magkakaroon ng appropriate investigation and if there would be violations, magkaka-sanctions po,” she added.

Vergeire also stressed that vaccines need to undergo regulation and secure emergency use authorization (EUA) to ensure its safety and efficacy.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo said Sinopharm has yet to file an application for an EUA.

“As of now, wala pa pong nag-a-apply sa amin. ‘Yung Chinese Government, sumulat po sila kay Secretary (Carlito) Galvez informing him na wala silang local na distributor dito at hindi ko alam kung ano ang kanilang magiging applications po and strategy,” Domingo said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, said that Malacañang will leave the investigation on the issue to the FDA.

He, however, stressed that taking illegally procured COVID-19 vaccines is not a policy of the Duterte administration.

“Wala pong ganiyang polisiya dahil kung may ganiyan pong polisiya, siguro commercial quantity na ang kumalat noong mga bakuna na hindi naaprubahan. Pero inaantay po talaga natin ang aksiyon ng FDA sa mga bagay-bagay na ito,” Roque said.

To recall, some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were revealed to have taken unauthorized coronavirus vaccine shots in December.

The FDA and the National Bureau of Investigation are undertaking separate investigations into the matter.

Domingo said the PSG has yet to respond to FDA’s inquiry into their illegal inoculation. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

FDA approves EUA of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday (January 28) announced it has approved the emergency use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

In a virtual press briefing, the FDA reported they found sufficient data and evidence proving AstraZeneca vaccine may be effective in preventing COVID-19. 

FDA Director Eric Domingo said the benefits of the said vaccine outweighs the potential risks. He added that the adverse effects include headache and slight fever which are similar to the reactions one may expect from a flu shot.

The FDA Director said the vaccine will be taken in two doses four to twelve weeks apart. He added that the vaccine is authorized to be used on individuals aged 18 and above while pregnant women need to check with their doctors first if they can be vaccinated. 

Domingo said, AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has an efficacy rate of 70% and has more favorable storage requirements of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

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