Gov’t to take legal action if face shield altering is proven

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MANILA – Malacañang said on Tuesday that if it is proven that the labels of medical-grade face shields were tampered with to make it appear they were manufactured recently, the national government would enforce all legal remedies against Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.

“Kapag napatunayan po (If it is proven), of course we will exercise all our legal remedies,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

Roque stated that the Palace is now waiting for the results of the inspection done by the Department of Health (DOH) into the alleged tampering with the production date of medical-grade face shields.

If tampering is verified, Roque noted that Pharmally could face estafa and falsification of public documents charges.

“Offhand, iniisip ko po kung mayroon silang pinirmahan na public document on the date of manufacture, puwede pong falsification ‘yan, pupuwede rin maging estafa (Let us wait for the results of the investigation. But offhand, I’m thinking that if they signed a public document on the date of manufacture, it can be falsification, it can also be estafa),” he added.

He did, however, clarify that the alleged tampering occurred only with the face shields and not with the whole set of personal protective equipment (PPE) acquired by the government from Pharmally.

In a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Friday, Pharmally’s key point person, Krizle Grace Mago, revealed that she was told to instruct warehouse personnel to falsify expiry dates on medical-grade face shields.

Roque stated that before the government can act on Mago’s admission, it must be verified.

Hindi pa napapatunayan yung tampering. Kinakailangan muna masubstantiate yung allegation. So huwag muna tayo magconclude na nagkaroon ng tampering (Tampering has not been proven yet. There is a need to substantiate the allegation. So let us not yet conclude that there was tampering),” he said.

He pointed out that Mago’s admission doesn’t have much weight right now.

Hindi pa po mabigat ‘yan kasi hindi naman po siya talaga yung nagtamper. Kumbaga wala siyang personal knowledge so kinakailangan isubstantiate po ‘yan (It does not hold much weight because she did not tamper with them herself. In other words, she has no personal knowledge so it needs to be substantiated),” he added.

Meanwhile, Roque shared the President’s skepticism over the expiration of face shields.

Kasi ang sabi ng Presidente, hindi gaya ng gamot, ang mga plastic face shield naman ay hindi nag-e-expire (Because the President said, unlike medicines, plastic face shields don’t expire),” he said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III previously stated that if Pharmally is found to have altered with the production date of its face shields, his department will demand restitution.

He said medical-grace face shields are supposed to last for three years before the foam and garter it contains deteriorates.

He added that with the modified manufacturing date, it could only last two years before its quality deteriorates.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.