Senator Leila De Lima questioned Wednesday (April 29) the loyalty of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Felimon Santos Jr. after he asked the help of Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian to buy a drug for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a statement, De Lima said Santos’ request was “wrong [on] so many levels” considering his position in government. He said the AFP chief could be held liable for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law and the Medical Act, which prohibits dispensation of medicine by a non-licensed individual.
De Lima said Santos’ request to Huang cast doubts on the AFP chief’s integrity.
“For him to owe a debt of gratitude to any foreign entity is a conflict of interest at best and treason at worst. Kailangan natin ng armed forces chief na hindi nabibili ng sinuman, lalo na ng mga dayuhan,” she said.
Santos had written Huang to ask for help in buying Carrimycin, which he claimed helped him recover from COVID-19. He said he withdrew the letter after finding out the supposed medicine was not yet registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).