Marcos names personal doctor Samuel Zacate as FDA director-general

Gillan Ropero and Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2022 02:05 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2022 07:09 PM

MANILA — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has appointed his lead physician Dr. Samuel Zacate as director-general of the Food and Drug Administration, Malacañang said on Wednesday. 

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles confirmed Zacate's appointment as FDA chief. 

Zacate "is a known public health advocate with years of expertise in medicine and medical consultancy in other government units," which include the Public Attorneys Office and Presidential Security Group Hospital, Cruz-Angeles in a press briefing. 

He is a diplomate of the Philippine Society for Venereology and a fellow of the International College of Surgeons, said the Palace official.

In July, Zacate served as Marcos' lead physician when he experienced a second bout of COVID-19. 

"He (Zacate) is qualified plus he has several distinctions so we are not sure if his being a personal physician factored into this, considering he ticks all the boxes, meaning lahat ng requirements bilang FDA [chief] he fulfilled," Cruz-Angeles said. 

(He fulfilled all requirements for FDA chief.) 

DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo had led the FDA during the COVID-19 pandemic until he resigned in January. FDA deputy director general Oscar Gutierrez was then assigned as officer-in-charge.