Random Thoughts

DISAGREEMENT OVER UNIVERSITY PREXY –Two honorable legislators were recently in “beast mode” (a term often heard from millennials when someone is so angry). They almost figured in a fistfight during one committee hearing.

It was a good thing cooler heads prevailed so they were pacified.

The object of their conflict was Mr. University President. One is tough as a bull, and wants this educator out from the university. Let’s call him Legislator 1.

The other, known for being good-natured and soft -spoken, is supportive of Mr. President. He will be named here as Legislator 2.

Both are influential. Both always get high votes. One was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, the other became rich as he rose to power.

In that committee hearing where the fate of Mr. President was discussed, the two gentlemen had a serious and almost violent disagreement over a proposed action to be taken.

Gusto ni Legislator 1 Patalsikin na sa Pangasinan si Mr. President.

Si Legislator 2 naman, ang sabi, teka muna, walang ganyanan… idaan natin sa tamang proseso.

Truth to tell, Mr. President has been shamed several times by some officials close to Legislator 1. He was already declared persona non grata in Pangasinan.

But Mr. President stood his ground. Sa paniniwala nya ay wala siyang ginagawang masama. Nagtratrabaho lang kaya taas noo nyang masasabi kaninuman that it was during his time that his university has its major facelift.

Inaayos nya ang mga buildings pati ang mga patakaran.

While some quarters are still not happy about his activities, many also applaud him, including some senators who had the chance to visit the university before Mr. President’s appointment and after he assumed the post. The senators who visited noticed the remarkable transformation in his turf.

I was a witness to one senator’s visit to the university. The senator, a son of a former president, praised Mr. President for the changes he is doing. Napa-wow si Mr. Senator sa kaliwa’t kanan na nagsulputang buildings.

But still, some people are not happy with Mr. President. When Mr. President was crucified by Pangasinan officials, he just kept quiet. Ayaw nyang magpa-interview.

Actually, this verbal clash between two legislators would not have been known by Pangasinenses like me if a Mindanaoan party-list congressman had not mentioned it.

We were surprised by the revelation. May ganung pangyayari pala. Sana tapos na yung away nina Legislator 1 and Legislator 2 dahil lang kay Mr. President.

May the message of forgiveness brought by the Holy Week observance dawn upon them.— EVA  VISPERAS


STOP THE DENGVAXIA SCARE –Health Secretary Francisco Duque III recently admitted that the controversy over the Dengvaxia vaccine has been blown out of proportion by non-experts and it has affected the health department’s vaccination program.

He was obviously referring to the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) persistent claims that they have forensic evidence linking Dengvaxia to the death of some of the kids vaccinated notwithstanding corroborative statements from experts negating PAO’s claims.

PAO’s claims continue to unduly alarm the parents more leading to fears the baseless resistance to vaccination can lead a wholesale national disaster as it could create a generation of unvaccinated Filipinos.

A report of a dengue outbreak recently in Cavite already spawned undue alarm due to its proximity to Metro Manila because of a report of its high population density.

Even doctors are already helping in convincing parents to continue having their children vaccinated heed, to believe only known experts and not the claims of so-called experts whose raw dissertation of the issue appears self-serving and politicized to discredit the past administration.

It is important to mention that Dr. Scott Halstead, an American, one of  the world’s experts, who lent his opinion on the issue, flatly denied claims that Dengvaxia had caused the deaths of kids reportedly after vaccination. His statements directly contradicted the findings of PAO that it was Dengvaxia that caused the deaths of the children’ who were vaccinated.

Halstead, the 87-year-old medical scientist came to the country after he learned that his studies were quoted out of context extensively by PAO head Dengvaxia, Dr. Tony Leachon, Dr. Susie Mercado and even PAO head Persida Acosta to bolster their claim.

Halstead described as “utter nonsense” allegations that Dengvaxia had caused viscerotropism and neurotropism among kids injected by Dengvaxia, calling these as “theoretical risks” as they have never been observed in real life for Dengvaxia.

This directly demolished not only Dr. Leachon’s prediction of a possible severe dengue outbreak in the Philippines but claims made by Dr.  Mercado who was the first one to link viscerotropism and neurotropism to the deaths of the kids.

His studied claim should calm parents of the more than 800,000 children vaccinated with Dengvaxia.

However, despite pleas from doctors and experts, PAO’s forensic doctor, Edwin Erfe continues to conduct autopsies on children whom they claim died because of Dengvaxia. And because Erfe refuses to acknowledge Halstead’s admonition, his persistence is causing discomfiture among medical practitioners in the country, they who believe that that autopsies alone are not enough to conclude that people died from Dengvaxia.

The experts in the country insist that one needs corroborating nucleic acid and antigen tests and tissue samples to make a valid conclusion.

Because of the continuous baseless attacks on the Dengvaxia vaccine through the mainstream media and social media, we have reports that more parents in Pangasinan have become reluctant to bring their children to health centers for vaccination against other infectious diseases.

It’s time for President Duterte to order the PAO to clam up and let the DOH do the official investigation in order to arrest the growing resistance to vaccines. – LEONARDO MICUA

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