KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS: Ona should resign, or be fired! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:25

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

 

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow…” (Ecclesiastes 5:4, the Holy Bible).

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SOMETHING WRONG IN THE CASE OF OFW WITH MERS VIRUS? Why am I feeling that there is something wrong in the handling by the Department of Health (DOH) of the case of the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was diagnosed by United Arab Emirates (UAE) medical authorities as suffering from the deadly MERS Corona virus but was declared in good health by the DOH upon his return to the Philippines?

Well, something must be wrong somewhere because, why did Malacanang suddenly step into the picture, and is now the one making the announcements pertaining to the case of the OFW and the medical examination conducted on some of his 100 co-passengers at the Etihad Airways flight EY 0424—a job which the DOH, through Secretary Enrique Ona, should be doing?

It is possible that Malacanang found Ona wanting in sufficiently acting on the MERS Corona virus case involving the OFW and his co-passengers, especially when, despite advance information that the OFW tested positive for the virus, Ona and the DOH did not even order the immediate medical examination of the OFW and all his co-passengers right after they landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

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ONA CAUGHT WITH HIS PANTS DOWN: I am sure the Office of the President saw that Ona’s failure to subject all the passengers of flight EY 0424 to the required medical examination to determine if they carried the deadly virus was not a mere lapse in operational procedures. I believe that President Aquino and Malacanang saw this as either gross incompetence or criminal neglect on the part of Ona and his subordinates at the DOH.

For, clearly, the disease is a deadly disease, and is now causing great fear among Middle East health authorities. So, there was really a need for Ona to have acted with grave urgency in making sure that the virus will not enter the Philippines, particularly from the many OFWs who are based in the disease-stricken areas in the Middle East, and from the many foreigners as well who regularly come to our country.

But then, what did Ona do, at least in the case of the OFW from UAE? Well, he was literally caught with his pants down. He failed to coordinate with NAIA authorities to make sure the OFW and his co-passengers were first subjected to medical tests upon their arrival, even as he failed to make sure that they were all free from the virus before they were subsequently allowed to travel all over the Philippines.

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ONA SHOULD RESIGN, OR BE FIRED: Now, Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office is forced to do what Ona should be doing in the first place, locating the other passengers of EY 0424, and enticing them to have themselves examined. This is all so wrong, because, the most appropriate time that they should have been examined was upon their landing.

And on the assumption that these passengers will agree to be examined now, it is also a great possibility that they may have already spread the disease if, indeed, they carried its virus when they came to the Philippines, considering that they have already traveled freely to many places here.

Clearly, Ona was remiss in his duties. He should therefore resign as Secretary of Health, immediately. It is clear that he has lost the President’s trust on him. If he dilly-dallies with his resignation, the President must fire him, and find another Health Secretary who will be more on his toes in the discharge of his duties and responsibilities.

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REMINDERS: Please tune in: “Tambalang Batas at Somintac sa DZEC”, at 1062 kHz on the AM band, Mondays to Fridays, at 6 a.m.; “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas sa Radyo Trabungko FM”, at 103.7 mHz in Don Carlos, Bukidnon, Mondays to Fridays, at 7 a.m.; and “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas sa DYKA” at 801 kHz on the AM band (Panay Island), Mondays to Fridays, at 10 a.m.