Pandora’s awesome box



WHAT would it have taken to win the May 2016 elections? Money and lots of money, according to the Liberal Party (LP) architects of the May 2016 elections. What would it have taken to get the three presidential terms that the LP wanted?

If you look at a paper presented to the previous administration on how to ensure it stayed in power for 18 years so they could “create a much better Philippines,” it said a humongous war chest was needed to win. How much do you need to win a presidential election? You need P5 billion to be competitive in a three-person race. Certainly, beyond the limits of our election laws. But you need to destroy your enemies to a pulp for a year, and in the run-up to the campaign, you need to field your “allies” to break the vote and ensure a victory.

There were 54.6 million registered voters in the May 2016 elections. The Top 3 vote-rich areas were Region 4-A (Calabarzon) with 7,630,180 voters, NCR (Metro Manila) with 6,252,132 and Region 3 (Central Luzon) at 6,075,216, or a total of 19,957,528 (36 percent of 54.6 million). Compared to the six regions of Mindanao with 23 percent of the votes, Luzon had 56 percent of the votes while the Visayas had 21 percent. Would be interesting to see, a year before May 2016, where the programs of the Aquino government landed. Was the triangulation in the Top 3 vote-rich areas? How much was the total investment to harvest votes by May 2016? Where are the almost 5 million CCT beneficiaries?

Eighteen months into the Duterte administration, we continue to uncover the shocking programs and transactions undertaken by the previous administration. From the ill-fitting trains of MRT3 to the RROW to the building of toilet facilities, the dengue vaccine and so much more still to be discovered. The level of rapacity is shocking considering that Aquino, Roxas, Abaya, Garin, Purisima and Abad are not dirt poor. But they needed to ensure their kind of politics could be funded not from their own sources but charged to the taxpayers. And then you wonder why some mainstream media have been selective in its coverage. They frame and set the agenda and so hit and blame the incumbent and be quiet and fudge the sins of the past.

How can one be quiet with Dengvaxia? How can one not rage against the fact that there was an unusual rush to roll out the program a month before May 2016? And make it a campaign positioning that Aquino protected kids from dengue by making the Philippines the first country to have this program rolled out in April 2016.

The program should have been rolled out in three doses per DepEd guidelines, done at least every six months. The first vaccine should have been administered April, May and June 2016; the second dose should have been done in October, November and December 2016, and the final shot in April, May and June 2017. Was the second shot done? If not, the first shot is negated, reduced to something like a placebo effect.

A news release sometime in March 2016 stated that “it took multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur more than 20 years to develop the vaccine with clinical trials in five Asian and five Latin American countries where dengue was endemic. The vaccine was launched in the Philippines since it was the only country where all three phases of the clinical development were conducted. Health authorities said the vaccine would have side effects, including fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, redness and swelling.” Was the actual roll-out the clinical trials?

According to the Garin-era DOH plan, “it will give the vaccine to over a million students” in 2016, “but the health department is planning to hold a nationwide vaccination on 2017.” Interestingly, Garin was acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) head and health secretary when the vaccine was approved for administration in the country. The DOH secretary made the request and FDA approved it. Nothing wrong there, right?

The Duque-led DOH must come clean by telling the public the status of the nationwide immunization program because all health programs will now be affected. As one former health official, Dr. Susan Pineda-Mercado, said, “this is the biggest government funded clinical-trial-masked-as-a-public-health-program scam of an experimental drug in the history of the DOH.” Where are the 737,713 kids? Where is the data base?

The health department has a nationwide network of barangay health workers (BHW). In tandem with DepEd, both can validate and do a rapid appraisal on the ground. Set up hotlines to guide mothers on what to do. Establish the facts. Why? Because this crisis should be “treated like a complex humanitarian emergency so any and all government agencies can be commandeered to follow through on all these children who were put in harms’ way!”

The DOH said, “those at risk are some 70,000 children who were vaccinated under a health Department program since 2016. A total of 733,713 were vaccinated, but 90 percent of them have had dengue.”

On accountability and culpability, was there a “cash rebate” given to someone? The total allotment for the program was P4 billion. Sourced from where? Not the General Appropriations Act of 2015 or 2016? Were the leaderships of House and the Senate aware of this? Where is the COA report on the matter?

What is the role of WHO in the deal and today? They were there from the start and now, they seem to contradict themselves. Why is the DOH seemingly controlled by WHO? Does the WHO lord it over the decisions made by the department in pursuit of its own global agenda?

Clearly, some people are missing key points. Point is you don’t subject Filipino kids to clinical trial in the guise of a health campaign. Point is it was a “clinical study by Sanofi,” as revealed later, that showed those not previously infected with dengue and got vaccinated with Dengvaxia could contract “severe disease.”

Truly, “people shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”


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