No violation by Santos in asking for China to buy COVID-19 medicine: Lorenzana
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Felimon Santos did "not violate any regulations nor imperiled the security of the country" when he wrote a letter to Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian seeking for help to buy tablets which can cure the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Lorenzana added that Santos withdrew his request to the Chinese Ambassador as the use of Carrimycin in the country does not have the approval of Food and Drug Administration.
"Gen. Santos withdrew his request upon learning that our FDA has not approved the drug for use in the Philippines," he said.
"I see nothing wrong with General Santos’s writing a letter to the Chinese Ambassador for assistance to procure Carrimycin tablets, a cure for COVID, available only in China, for his friends who are infected with COVID-19," Lorenzana said.
"What is wrong with wanting to help those infected with COVID?," he added.
Lorenzana explained Carrimycin is one of the medicines that Santos took when he was found positive for the virus.
"General Santos was infected with COVID and, although asymptomatic, went through the fear and anguish of being infected with a deadly virus. One of the medicines he took was Carrymicin, which was given to him by a Fil-Chinese friend and accordingly this medicine is controlled by the Chinese government," he said.
Lorenzana said although the letter of Santos "may have been out of place", but the defense chief emphasized that Santos action is not a violation of any regulations.
"The letter may have been out of place, i.e., should have been coursed through the DFA. He had not violated any regulations nor imperiled the security of the country. Let us put the matter to rest," he said. Robina Asido/DMS