" This is no laughing matter."
Last Sunday, my social media feed was inundated with announcements of Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso getting infected with COVID-19. Just like what I had done for all others who caught the virus before him, I offered a prayer for his quick recovery.
I always do this for everyone, even for those political leaders whom I believe are not fit to lead their constituents especially in a time of crisis like this. I don’t even wait for the news to be validated as I believe that faking an illness, especially something like this COVID-19, will be a cross for them to carry in the future, if they indeed are resorting to such an act.
However, come Monday morning, photos emanating from Domagoso’s office themselves showed a disturbing situation. Not only was his own photographer documenting his every move — from being fetched by the ambulance to being admitted to the hospital. The photos reveal his attending health workers were not wearing the proper gear suited for the situation. They were not wearing PPEs, nor sporting any gloves. No one was using a face shield including Yorme himself.
How could Domagoso allow that? He was reportedly admitted to Sta. Ana Hospital. Now, I am not questioning if Domagoso is really COVID-positive or not, but as they claim it is, then we have to take their word for that. But in doing so, facing those health workers who have no proper gears, he could have endangered all the health workers assigned to that hospital and all other patients admitted there.
Sta. Ana Hospital is reportedly also being used as a vaccination center. Thus, he could have also contaminated the area, endangering those lining up for the anti-COVID vaccines.
Unfortunately, instead of confronting the issues head on, Domagoso’s camp is diverting questions being raised, claiming they are part of a demolition job targeting the mayor. They are accusing everyone who has criticized Domagoso’s failure to implement strict health protocols as a DDS whose goal is to divert the issue away from questionable Commission on Audit findings on several government agencies, the Department of Health included.
But wait! I am no DDS. I have never been one. But I cannot tolerate using this COVID-19 issue for one’s political agenda.
This is no laughing matter. Why the need to document every movement, which could also put his personal photographer at risk, only to reveal they were not following the health protocol as mandated by the IATF? Too irresponsible.
The other day, Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna was also reported paying Domagoso a visit? Isn’t that also prohibited? She may be a doctor, but she is not Domagoso’s attending physician.
This is not the first time Domagoso had resorted to this kind of gimmickry. In August last 2019, Domagoso’s office posted a picture in the social media showing him supposedly receiving dextrose through IV. However, sources inside the Manila City hall bared it Domagoso was not being administered a dextrose that time, but a vitamin supplement through an IV drip.
Domagoso’s picture while being admitted at the Sta. Ana Hospital also shows they are not wearing any face shield. According to employees in the Manila City hall, Domagoso had stopped using face shields as he doesn’t believe it helps in preventing the spread of the dreaded virus.
I also don’t believe in the use of face shields but that has been imposed on us by the IATF. Does that mean that ordinary mortals like me have to heed to all IATF impositions but politicians and celebrities like Domagoso are exempted from them? I have been to Manila several times and I have always been questioned every time I try to take off my face shield to wipe when it gets foggy. But I bet if Domagoso has even experienced this episode.
Didn’t former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who succumbed to COVID-19 last year, once say “the law applies to all otherwise none at all?” Domagoso even paid tribute to the late mayor.
Refusing to abide by the IATF impositions when everybody else is doing so reveals irresponsibility and arrogance on the part of Domagoso.
Speaking of face shields, it’s quite funny when almost every face shield seller I see is drastically reducing their price while the Quezon City government seems too generous to give one particular supplier a fat bonus.
In a virtual press briefing, Anakalusugan Rep. Michael “Idol Mike” Defensor said the Quezon City Government should explain why it paid P27 million for 400,000 pieces of face shield or P67.50 each.
In the sidewalks, face shields sell for P8 a piece. At Lazada, you can get 10 pieces for P33 or for a measly P3.30 per piece.
Defensor presented a copy of the Purchase Order with No. 2012367 for the face shields and for 32,000 bottles of disinfectant spray worth P695 each for a total of P22,240,000, signed by Quezon City Mayor Josefina “Joy” Belmonte.
The PO was awarded through a negotiated sale to a certain company, Strength Medical and Drug Supply, registered as a sole proprietorship, which Defensor says is rather odd as suppliers for requirements with such a big amount are usually registered corporations as sole proprietors tend to be short on the required capital.
Well, the Office of the Mayor of Quezon City can easily argue that their chosen supplier has the required capital and means to supply their requirement. But still, they have to explain the seemingly overpriced face shields and disinfectant sprays and why they did not go through a bidding.
And maybe CoA should also do some explaining why it did not question that particular deal.