MANILA - Government is looking into filing charges against a group of doctors and businessmen that earlier called for a lifting of COVID-19 lockdowns, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Wednesday.
The Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC-PH) last week launched the #FlattenTheFear campaign, which urges government to end lockdowns and instead promote proper nutrition to boost one's immune system.
Año, also co-chair of the National Task Force against COVID-19, said he has directed the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to look for possible violations that the group committed when it held a meeting last week.
The Department of Health earlier said the meeting was a mass gathering and its participants did not wear face masks.
"That group is not a legitimate group and I already directed the CIDG to investigate for possible criminal violations or cases against these people...There are so many violations of the law, of the guidelines at hindi natin papayagan 'yung ganyan (we won't allow that)," Año said in a virtual press briefing.
"I’m warning that group, 'wag kayo magsabi ng hindi naman talaga within the guidelines of the government policies, lalo na kung ito ay nagva-violate rin sa mga protocols ng WHO (World Health Organization)."
(I’m warning that group, don't spread claims that are not within the guidelines of the government policies, especially if this also violates WHO protocols.)
Members of the group had recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine despite the WHO's finding that it causes "little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care."
"Nagpe-prescribe ka ng gamot na hindi naman authorized ng WHO or DOH. Mahirap 'yan kasi baka ang tao lalong magkasakit o magkaroon ng anumang side effects. Remember 'yung hydroxychloroquine ay gamot sa malaria at lupus so di mo pwede gawing prophylaxis 'yan," Año said.
(You're prescribing medicine that's not authorized by WHO or DOH. This may cause people to suffer from side effects. Remember, hydroxychloroquine is a drug for malaria and lupus so you can't use it as prophylaxis.)
"Yung ating mga kababyan, dyan kayo makinig sa authorities, 'wag sa iba-ibang grupo, baka lalo makasama sa atin."
(To the public, listen only to authorities not just any group.)
The Philippines as of Tuesday reported 291,789 cases of COVID-19, with 5,049 deaths and 230,643 recoveries.