KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS: Half-truths & lies in DOH vaccines purchase? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 14 November 2014 14:25

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

 

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God—the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses…” (Deuteronomy 28:58-59, the Holy Bible).

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WHY ARE ONA AND TAYAG SILENT ON VACCINE ISSUE? I am intrigued at the near-total silence of Health Secretary Enrique Ona and Assistant Eric Tayag, and the absence of a counter-media offensive from them, in the face of what appears to be a determined effort by Acting Secretary and former Iloilo Rep. Janet Garin and of Malacanang itself to destroy them.

I called some friends over this, and, indeed, many share the opinion and belief that the attacks against Ona and Tayag are nothing but political maneuvers intended to remove them from the Department of Health, and allow President Aquino to install someone who would be more “sympathetic and cooperative” over how DOH funds in 2015 amounting to some P86 billion are to be spent one year before the elections in 2016.

But there is something quite shocking in some of the information given to me on the issue of the pneumonia vaccines which Malacanang are now using to discredit Ona and Tayag. Remember that, the official propaganda line of the Palace is that, some anomaly attended Ona’s (and Tayag’s) 2012 purchase of PCV 10 vaccines, allegedly because what should have been purchased are PCV 13 vaccines, which cost less.

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ISSUES ON VACCINES TOO WORRISOME: However, my DOH friends told me: there is a very great public health issue considered by Ona and Tayag in acquiring for the DOH vaccination program the PCV 10 vaccines, not the PCV 13 vaccines. I was told that Ona and Tayag decided on the “much expensive” PCV 10 vaccines, rather than on the “much cheaper” PCV 13 vaccines, because of serious health considerations.

What were these “serious health considerations” that may have prompted Ona and Tayag to buy PCV 10 vaccines, rather than PCV 13 vaccines? In answering this query, my doctor-friends told me that while generally, vaccines are good for preventing diseases, there is a long standing medical finding of international acceptance saying that hard-to-treat bacterial infections in children are on the rise because of the widespread use of pneumococcal vaccines, such as the PCV 10 and PCV 13 vaccines.

Citing a report from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), my DOH friends said that “these bacterial infections are becoming increasingly drug resistant and therefore harder and harder to treat…” They also cited other reports which said that “children in the pneumococcal vaccine group had more seizures, high fevers and other reactions…” Worrisome, if you ask me!

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HALF-TRUTHS & LIES IN DOH VACCINES PURCHASE? Apparently, the President was fed with mere half-truths or outright lies on the issue involving Ona and Tayag’s purchase of PCV 10 vaccines coming from those interested to oust them, my DOH friends also told me. They also slammed the slanting of this issue to picture Ona and Tayag as having corruptly benefitted from the purchase of PCV 10 vaccines, when, they said, the truth was that, they were just acting judiciously.

And, if I am to believe these friends of mine from the DOH, it would appear that even Acting Secretary Garin was fully aware of the ramifications of the decision of Ona and Tayag to purchase the PCV 10 vaccines, so that, instead of fanning the flames of accusations against the two by her own silence, Garin should have immediately explained to the President the situation.

So, how will this controversy end? I am certain it is not going to be for the interest of the Filipino people, in the light of the IDSA report that my DOH friends quoted to me. Imagine, instead of curbing diseases, vaccines have been reported to be making more people sickly and untreatable? May God have mercy on all of us, especially because there are those among us who will not give one hoot for the health of Filipinos.

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PLEASE LISTEN: “Tambalang Batas at Somintac”, jointly aired at DZEC, 1062 kHz in Manila, 1080 kHz in Dagupan City, 711 kHz in Naga City, 1260 kHz in Lucena City, 1224 kHz in Davao City, and at www.eaglebroadcasting.net, Mondays to Fridays, at 6 a.m.; “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas”, at 103.7 mHz in Don Carlos, Bukidnon, Mondays to Fridays, at 7 a.m.; “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas” at 801 kHz on the AM band (Panay Island), Mondays to Fridays, at 10 a.m.; and “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas” at 107.5 Win FM, Roxas, Isabela (Saturday, 5:30 a.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m.).