The real crime

"Duque is simply looking for holes with which to trap Idol Mike and Marcoleta."


Apparently humiliated by the throngs of people who showed up for the ivermectin distribution event organized by Anakalusugan Rep. Michael “Idol Mike” Defensor and Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta -- which was a clear show of people’s defiance of the pronouncements of the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Industry -- Health Secretary Francisco Duque the other day ordered the FDA to probe Thursday’s event.

This was after news reports came showing prescriptions issued by doctors who volunteered for the event, written on sheets of paper sans the doctors’ names, license numbers and professional tax receipt numbers.

Defensor however claims that they have the copies of the prescriptions and that the participants submitted forms beforehand. Also, aside from the fact that the doctors were repeatedly introduced to the attendees, with their names, contact numbers and other information readily available to those who would be needing them, the prescriptions were issued at a table adjacent to another table where the medication was dispensed.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong. Aren’t the prescribing doctor’s name, license number and PTR required by the drug stores to determine if the prescription is legitimate? Now, if the medicines are being dispensed at a table adjacent to where the prescriptions are being issued, with the dispensing personnel having access to the prescribing doctor’s full information, as well as the patient, can we forego with this requirement as asked for by Duque?

In fact, this practice is prevalent in all of the medical and dental missions I have witnessed.

Defensor nonetheless is asking the DoH to spare the doctors who assisted them in their ivermectin-distribution event.

“It is seldom that I ask for help and support for my advocacies and beliefs. As a public official, I have accepted the fact that I am ‘fair game’ and people may attack me and I just have to roll with the punches and hope that my arguments will come to light,” Defensor said in a social media post.

“But our doctors do not deserve this! They have put their names and practice on the line for the love of our people and nation. They didn’t have to do that. They could have remained quiet and towed the line. They spoke and they acted knowing that silence will lead to the death of our people. They were just being true to their Hippocratic oath!” Idol Mike avers and that if there was any irregularity in his and Marcoleta’s project, it is they who are accountable for it.

“If there was anything wrong with our distribution of this COVID-19 wonder drug ivermectin, we are the ones answerable, not our volunteer doctors and other medical practitioners who just wanted to help our poor people,” he said.

But to this I beg to disagree. I don’t believe anyone should be held accountable for the ivermectin-distribution event. I don’t believe giving people access to cheaper but effective medication against COVID-19 -- and for any illness for that matter -- constitutes a crime.

I think Duque is simply looking for holes with which to trap Idol Mike and Marcoleta. With regard to the dispensing of the so-called miracle drug against COVID-19, lawyer Larry Gadon insists the two solons have no criminal liabilities. Foremost, as firstly, ivermectin is not included in the PDEA list of prohibited and illegal drugs.

Secondly, based on the principle of “equal protection of law,” if the DoH and the FDA have allowed three hospitals to administer ivermectin to their patients under the compassionate special permit, even as these patients the capability to be admitted to hospitals and afford whatever medications their doctors prescribe them, then it also becomes the right of the underprivileged who cannot afford to be admitted to hospitals to have access to the same medication.

Rightly said. As Idol Mike puts it, the poor want and need access to inexpensive therapeutic drugs to fight COVID-19 “because the drugs the DoH and the FDA are promoting are for the rich.”

“Remdesivir, for instance, costs from P12,000 to P48,000 per vial, and you need two vials a day. On the other hand, ivermectin costs only P35 per tablet, and only one tablet is needed daily. The DOH and FDA are allowing the use of Remdesivir, while cracking down on ivermectin. Their bias is for the rich and against the poor,” says Defensor.

And to think that no less than the World Health Organization has recommended against the use of Remdesivir saying there is no proof that it has in any way, effected the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

And that is the exact opposite of the findings on ivermectin, whose safety, according to Dr. Iggy Agbayani, president of the Concerned Doctors and Citizens, Philippines, has been proven over the past 25 years with about 3.7 billion doses dispensed to the public,

“This is very cheap. There have already been 52 studies with regards to its use against Covid-19, with 27 of them being randomized clinical trials, compared to the Covid-19 vaccine which has only one clinical trial and yet they are already dispensing it to the public. If they still insist it is still not enough, then I’m not sure anymore what they really want,” says Agbayani.

And just the other day, the American Journal of Therapeutics have included Dr. Pierre Kory’s scientific medical paper on the effectiveness of ivermectin in their May – June 2021 issue.

That means an international medical society – the AJT, is now acknowledging Dr. Kory's study that ivermectin is effective in treating COVID and is accepted as legitimate.

Despite these, the DoH and the FDA won’t budge. So, what’s the real crime being committed here, if any? Defensor’s and Marcoleta’s Ivermectin Pan Three event with doctors prescribing the drug on pad papers? Or that of the DoH’s and the FDA’s continued refusal to grant the people easy access to Ivermectin instead of the more expensive drugs they are imposing on COVID-19 patients?

I think that latter would be the hands-down choice for the majority here.

Actually, as of this writing, I believe Gadon is already preparing the necessary paperwork for the cases to be filed against the DoH and the FDA for “insisting on the use of Remdesivir despite declaration of the World Health Organization that it is ineffective and must be discontinued,” charging COVID-19 patients with bloated amounts of expenses “for Remdesivir while the drug does not even help.”

“We will file cases against those who took advantage of the covid victims,” Gadon swears.

Topics: Charlie Manalo , ivermectin , Rep. Michael “Idol Mike” Defensor , Rep. Rodante Marcoleta , Department of Health , DOH , Food and Drug Industry , FDA , Health Secretary Francisco Duque
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