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News Briefs: Oct. 30, 2018

05:33 AM October 30, 2018

Better to bring your own food to cemetery – Duque

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III advised the public on Monday to be cautious in buying food from ambulant vendors to avoid falling ill as they visit their departed loved ones in cemeteries this week.

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Duque said it would be much safer for the public to bring their own food and water than buy from vendors so that they may not contract food-borne diseases like diarrhea.

“Food-borne illnesses are usually caused by food for mass consumption, which were not cooked, stored or handled properly. Establishments that prepare, serve and distribute food for mass consumption should guarantee food safety,” he said.

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Local governments should closely monitor ambulant vendors to ensure that the products they sell are safe for consumption, he added. —Jovic Yee

Garin gives DOJ’s probe of new complaints a miss

Former Health Secretary Janette Garin was a no-show on Monday’s preliminary investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the second batch of criminal complaints over the deaths of schoolchildren who received shots of the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia.

Garin was summoned by the investigating panel to submit her counter-affidavit to the complaints filed by the guardians of eight victims.

In a text message, Garin said she was not served a subpoena nor given a copy of the new complaints. Of the 37 respondents to the cases, including Garin, 23 were able to submit their counteraffidavits on Monday.

The panel gave Garin and 13 other respondents more time to submit their counteraffidavits and appear in the next hearing on Nov. 5. —Tina G. Santos

Ex-Iloilo lawmaker charged over P14.7-M PDAF scam

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Former Iloilo Rep. Rolex Suplico has been charged in the Sandiganbayan with graft over alleged irregularities in the use of his P14.7-million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in 2007.

Also charged with one count of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act was Antonio Ortiz, director general of the now-abolished Technology and Livelihood Resource Center, the implementing agency, as well as Alfredo Ronquillo, president of the nongovernment organization (NGO) Aaron Foundation Philippines Inc.

Ombudsman prosecutors accused Suplico and Ortiz of endorsing Aaron as the partner NGO for the lawmaker’s livelihood projects despite its “dubious existence.”

It alleged that no public bidding or negotiated procurement took place. —Vince F. Nonato

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TAGS: Dengue Vaccine, Dengvaxia, Francisco Duque III, graft case, Janette Garin, news briefs, PDAF, Rolex Suplico, Undas 2018
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