Chinese national arrested in Lapu-Lapu City for selling unregistered medicines

A Chinese national identified as Ke Liangping was arrested in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu for allegedly selling unregistered Chinese medicines and running a clinic in his home in Teakwood Subdivision, Barangay Soong.

According to the National Bureau of Investigation Central Visayas (NBI-7), Liangping was nabbed in a buy-bust operation at his house on July 24, where authorities seized PHP 10 million worth of medicines and also found several hospital beds.

Some of the confiscated medicines were purportedly used as treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The NBI added that Liangping was popular among Chinese nationals residing in nearby areas. During NBI’s operation, the suspect had one patient with intravenous attached to her arm, while another patient called to set an appointment for acupuncture treatment.

NBI-7 coordinated with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the buy-bust operation after they received reports from residents about Liangping, who introduced himself as a medical doctor in China but has no legal documents to support the claim.


Support for Duterte slips away as more Filipinos expect lives to get worse in the next 12 months

Advocacy group Tindig Pilipinas foresees a decline in the number of President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters after a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed that 43% of Filipinos expect their lives to worsen in the next 12 months.

Tindig Pilipinas convenor Sylvia Claudio said the “slipping of support” for Duterte is due to his mishandling of several national issues, including the COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines. She added that the survey suggests that Filipinos disapprove the government’s actions against ABS-CBN.

Despite the current “political unrest,” Claudio stressed that Duterte might show a return of the “same controlling, harsh militaristic police measures that the President has been very fond of from day one in terms of meeting any crisis” in his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

CHR, critics question DILG advisory vs SONA protests

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued an advisory urging local government units (LGUs) to ban and not allow rallies during President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The agency reminded the LGUs to comply with Resolution No. 57 of the the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) which states that all types of mass gatherings are prohibited under community quarantine including rallies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Critics, however, slammed the move, raising particular incidents in which Duterte’s known allies, like OWWA Deputy Administrator Mocha Uson, NCRPO Chief Debold Sinas, and Senator Bong Go, deliberately violated the prohibition on gatherings during the quarantine period but were not reprimanded.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) also expressed concerns about the advisory, stressing that the Philippine National Police (PNP) already said that the current pandemic won’t be used as a reason to crackdown dissenters.

Reconstruct PhilHealth leadership, House committee chairman urge

House Committee on Public Accounts and Anakalusugan Party-List Representative Michael Defensor called for an “overhaul” in the leadership of the said agency.

The congressman said that there needs to be a “systematic change” to rebuild PhilHealth especially given “a pattern of alleged abuses where loopholes can be taken advantage of by the unscrupulous.”

Defensor added that PhilHealth CEO Ricardo Morales and his critic, lawyer Thomson Montes Keith will be invited to the hearings of a moto-propio investigation about issues regarding PhilHealth.

Keith, who served as PhilHealth’s Anti-Fraud Legal Officer, was among the reported PhilHealth employees who were forced to resign due to the widespread corruption happening within the agency.

PH, Indonesia, Malaysia join forces in guarding territorial rights in West Philippine Sea

The Philippines has joined forces with Indonesia and Malaysia in safeguarding their territorial rights in the West Philippine Sea, Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a pre-SONA forum.

“We have also agreed with Indonesia and Palau to advance common interests in managing and preserving marine resources in the exclusive economic zone of the three countries,” Lorenzana revealed.

The three-partied maritime alliance aims to defend their sovereign rights across all borders from external attacks of violent extremists and terrorists, as well as to protect and conserve the biodiversity within their maritime borders. The forum also discussed updates on the country’s national marine policy with the National Coast Watch Council and National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea.


DFA slams down raising of sea feud ruling to UN

On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has slammed down the former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario’s attempt to put forward the arbitral ruling that the Philippines has won over China regarding maritime affairs in an online news conference.

“My reaction then was exactly the same as now. We won it already, why would you want to relitigate something that you won?” Locsin stated.

According to Locsin, the raising of the arbitral ruling before the UN General Assembly in September is unsensible, therefore, his denial of the appeal.

Del Rosario has talked out President Duterte to put the issue back to the light before the global community on the fourth anniversary of the arbitral ruling that invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim over the West Philippine Sea on historical grounds.

Locsin, who claimed that the ruling was nonnegotiable and that China should comply with it, has said in a Tweet that bringing forth the case before the UN is an issue of vote numbers as China certainly will bag the majority of the votes; stating that the ASEAN rejected the ruling which Malaysia tried sabotaging, while the US ignored it.



3 execs had enough of grave corruption; left PhilHealth

According to a source, a menacing corruption has been happening in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) even in the midst of a pandemic which resulted in the leaving of 3 officials of their posts, as revealed in an online conference between the PhilHealth president and some board officials.

“But the reported shouting match in a recent virtual conference between the PhilHealth president and some board members involving almost P1 billion worth of questionable transactions, including a total overprice of P98 million – if true, says it all,”  Senator Panfilo Lacson stated in a video conference.

One of the three executives who left their post was an anti-fraud officer who is proud of his advocacy in promoting clean, & free of corruption government-run corporations. He also added that he did not get his pays on a regular basis as for all he knows, his salaries were already pocketed.

PhilHealth has also been infamous with a variety of scandals before, including the treatment of patients who were confirmed dead already or “ghost” patients; those who are dead are still receiving payoffs from dialysis treatments.

Senate reminds BuCor to keep ‘ninja cop’ Baloyo COVID-free before hearing

As the resumption of the public hearing on the “ninja cops” scandal in Pampanga looms sometime this week, the Senate warned the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to keep Police Major Rodney Baloyo free from COVID-19.

Due to Baloyo’s blatant avoidance to testify on the alleged reuse of drugs confiscated from a Korean drug dealer in Pampanga, he has been under the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) custody since October 2019 for further investigation.

Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III have decided to put Baloyo under the watch of the Senate as they make efforts to resolve the case. They warned the BuCor to keep Baloyo free from COVID-19 as it has caused the death of some high-profile NBP inmates.