|Dangerous Drugs Board chairman Antonio "Bebot" Villar. Photo courtesy of https://www.ddb.gov.ph
MANILA - A government official on Thursday said he is no believer in stem cell therapy after undergoing the procedure but getting zero health benefits.
Speaking to radio dzMM, Dangerous Drugs Board chairman Antonio "Bebot" Villar said he was enticed to try out the procedure after hearing from other people about the near-miraculous effect of stem cell therapy.
He noted that even former President Joseph Estrada has attributed his rejuvenated health to stem cells.
"Kasi nababalitaan ko maganda itong stem cell. Ako ay madalas na [masakit] ang buto ko. Siguro nanghihina yung buto ko na at tsaka medyo mahina ang katawan ko kaya sinubukan ko ito," he said.
Villar said he paid 16,000 euros or more than P900,000 to Villamedica for stem cell therapy to cure aches and pains in his bones and general body weakness.
He said he underwent treatment with his wife at EDSA Shangri-la hotel, along with at least a dozen others.
"July 9 may schedule na stem cell sa Shangri-la EDSA. Mga dose or kinse kami. Halos buong floor, yun chairman doctor kasama assistants na taga-Thailand," he said.
The DDB chief said he received several injections on the buttocks and ordered to stay in the hotel for a day so doctors could monitor their blood pressure. He said the stem cells were harvested from lambs.
He said that after the treatment, he tried to see if he got stronger but only felt worse.
"Ang lakas ng loob ko at naniniwala ako. Naglakad ako. Abay, sumakit ang mga paa ko. Parang wala itong epekto," he said.
"Medyo nanghina ako. Dati nakakalakad ako ng malayo-layo. Ngayon, medyo maigsi na lang at nagna-numb ang mga paa ko," he added.
Even worse, he said his prostate level became elevated despite being normal before the stem cell procedure. He said he had to undergo a biopsy as a result.
"Nag increase po so biniopsy ako sa prostate at nagradiation ako ng ilang araw, isang buwan ata. Ngayon under observation pa rin ako , monitoring every 3 months," he said.
He said his own wife is also blaming him for feeling worse after undergoing the same procedure.
"Si misis diabetic kasi. Tumataas ang sugar niya e. Halo halo na ang [tinutusok] niya. Hindi rin [gumaling]. Ako pa ang sinisisi. Sabi ko sumama ka e," he said.
Villar said he no longer recommends stem cell therapy to his friends after his own experience.
The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) earlier said it is investigating the deaths of 3 politicians who died allegedly after undergoing stem cell treatment in Germany.
On Monday, House Speaker Sonny Belmonte named 2 congressmen who may have died after having stem cell therapy overseas -- Rep. Erico Aumentado and Rep. Pedro Romualdo.
Aumentado's son Aristotle disputed this, saying his father died of pneumonia.
He added there is also no proof that stem cell caused his father’s death.