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Busted: Dengvaxia sold in India for only 9 pesos? But dengue vaccine is not yet sold in India!

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While the Department of Health (DOH) bought the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia for P1,000, some blogs are claiming that the vaccine only cost a little over P9 in India.

The Facebook fan page of losing senatorial candidate Greco Belgica made the computations and dubbed it as the “Calculus of Corruption.”

According to the computations, whoever made the graphics found a website that showed Dengvaxia costing online for only Rs 12 per piece, or about P9.35. Since the Philippine government during the Aquino administration bought 1 million units, the vaccines cost the government P9.35 million. But since it was said to have cost P3,000, then the whole dengue immunization program cost P3 billion.

The photo used by the fan page showed the Dengvaxia price found on indiamart.com.

The same online shopping site and its Rs. 12 price per piece of Dengvaxia was used as the basis for blogs, such as thetrumpeeter.press.

It seemed like the same India Mart store online store’s price for the dengue vaccine was used by other blogs and netizens to question the controversial health program that started during the Aquino administration.

Pages such as “The Filipino News,” “The News Gear,” and “Trending Topics Philippines” shared an article citing India Mart’s price, which they actually learned about through Duterte supporter Maharlika’s Facebook post.

Here’s Maharlika’s post, where she said the following:

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“So, ibinenta ng Sanofi sa Department of Health ang #DengVaxia sa halagang 1000 pesos na ang halaga nito sa Indian market ay 12 Indian Rupee o 9 pesos and 42 centavos .

X100 ang mark up o tubo nila. Ang tanong? Nagsabwatan ang Sanofi , si dating Health Secretary Janette Garin at Noynoy Aquino para maka kulimbat ng bilyon-bilyon kapalit ang kapahamakan ng ating mga kabataan?

Kung ito ay mapapatunayan natin sa korte , dapat hindi lang kagat ng 700,000 na lamok ang parusa sa kanila kundi ITUROK ang lahat ng #DengVaxia sa lahat ng nakinabang sa pera .”

Former anchor and TV host Jay Sonza also talked about how cheap Dengvaxia was, but did not mention that it was allegedly priced as such in India.

Even Bobby Capco, former Press Undersecretary during the Arroyo administration, claimed that the vaccine only cost P9. It was also Capco who was traced as the first one who posted about US President Donald Trump allegedly calling Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as “little narco.”

Another Duterte supporter, Prof. Antonio Contreras, also used the same price tag for the vaccine.

Reports said that the Philippine government procured P3 billion worth of Dengvaxia for 1 million public school children in areas that recorded the highest incidence of dengue cases.

We visited India Mart, the online store selling the vaccine for 12 rupees a piece from “Astellas Pharma India,” and found that there were other pharmaceutical companies selling the same vaccine at different prices. Some of these companies urged their potential customers to message them for a quote, while the others said they were selling Dengvaxia for 2 rupees a packet, or 250 rupees and 300 rupees a pack.

However, Rappler reported that Sanofi Pasteur Philippine medical director Ruby Dizon said that Dengvaxia is not yet sold in India.

Rappler’s report was about how the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) are going to present witnesses that would expose the anomalies in purchasing Dengvaxia.

When VACC counsel Ferdinand Topacio was told about Dengvaxia’s unavailability in India, he said that it was why the National Bureau of Investigation would verify.

A Twitter user also pointed out how a website geneticlifesciences.com noted that Dengvaxia “is not yet available in India can be imported on Patients need base program on Doctor’s recommendation.”

According to a report by The Economic Times published on December 6, 2017, Sanofi is still seeking a phase 3 clinical trial waiver in India for Dengvaxia. The report even took note of the ongoing investigation in the Philippines centered on the dengue vaccine. It further detailed that phase 3 trials are the last phase of all clinical trials that a company has to conduct before it gets approved to sell the drug in a country.

Talking to The Economic Times, Sanofi said that dengue is a health problem in India that remained to have no cure, which is why the company believe that Dengvaxia “can make a difference in public health and therefore, the answer is yes (Sanofi continues to seek waiver for phase 3 trial).”

But a senior government official commented that Sanofi has so far only submitted proof from small countries, which the official said may not be enough to get a waiver in India.

This supports Dizon’s claim that Dengvaxia is not yet sold in India. Sanofi is still seeking the last phase of the clinical trials in India before their dengue vaccine can be sold in the country.

For now, DOH has put the dengue vaccination program on hold until they receive a recommendation from the expert panel of the World Health Organization (WHO).

This came after Sanofi said on November 30 that their vaccine, Dengvaxia, is only effective in the long term for people who have been infected with dengue before they got vaccinated.

 

Sources: ( rappler.comgmanetwork.comnews.abs-cbn.com )

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Busted: Robredo wants to add years to the K-to-12 program? It’s fake news!

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Vice President Leni Robredo’s office released a statement debunking social media posts claiming that she wants to add a few more years to the K-to-12 program. This came after several posts started circulating about how Robredo allegedly said that she wanted to add a few more years to the K-to-12 program, angering netizens.

A certain tweet on March 1, 2020 showed the vice president’s photo along with these words: “Kulang ang K to 12 education system natin. Kelangan apat na taon sa Junior HS at apat na taon sa Senior HS.”

In January 17, the same image shared to the Facebook page “Raffy Tulfo In Action Supporters” also got shared over 6,000 times and triggered negative comments among the netizens.

Many social media users have lambasted Robredo over the said meme.

The unwarranted bashing and adverse reactions prompted her office to release an official statement debunking this false claim.

“Hindi totoong pinadadagdagan ni VP Leni Robredo ang mga taon sa K-to-12 program,” said the vice president’s office in a statement.

“Suportado ng Bise Presidente kung sakaling magkaroon ng review ng nasabing programa. Binibigyang-diin niya na kailangang siguraduhin na may tamang facilities at equipment ang mga specialized tracks, para mas maging madali ang pagtuturo nito at matiyak ang kahandaang makapagtrabaho ng mga mag-aaral sa kanilang pagtatapos,” it added.

In October 2019, Robredo did say that she was alright with reviewing how the K-to-12 program to determine how it could be further improved.

“Tumutugon rin ang kaniyang Tanggapan, kasama ang #AngatBuhay partners nito, sa pangangailangan ng tamang kagamitan. Nakapagbigay na ng kaukulang tools at equipment sa mga mahihirap na paaralan, gaya sa Mulanay sa Quezon, Panglao sa Bohol, at Sta. Maria sa Romblon,” the statement further said.

This is not the first time Robredo has been a victim of fake news. There were false claims, misleading headlines, and edited images or captions about how former Senator Bongbong Marcos has already won over Robredo, how she met former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, or how her portrait was sold on eBay, something that a popular blogger apologized for.

Sources: ( inquirer.net , news.mb.com.ph )

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Busted: Walang kasalanan ang Tulfo brothers ayon sa imbestigasyon? It’s a misleading headline!

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An article has claimed that an investigation has found the Tulfo brothers to be not guilty. It says, “Lumabas Sa Imbestigasyon Na Walang Kasalanan Ang Tulfo Brothers,” as published by the website phworkit.top.

The story was even shared by Facebook pages “Ferdinand Emmanual Edralin Marcos” and “Rody Duterte MEDIA.”

However, the article merely contained a 10-minute YouTube video, which was a mix several video clips of different reports, some parts of which touched on the issues involving the P60 million tourism ads that aired on the PTV program of Teo’s brothers, the Tulfos.

One of the video clips showed that the CNN Philippines reported on why nepotism is considered corruption and abused of authority in the case of now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda and how her husband, Roberto Teo, served as the board member of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). But Roberto was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III and has tendered his resignation from TIEZA effective June 30, 2018.

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Another video clip showing a CNN Philippines report of a Malacañang press briefing, where a reporter asked Presidential Spokesperon Harry Roque if Communications Secretary Martin Andanar would be among those investigated in the controversial placement of P60 million worth of tourism ads on the program of the Tulfos, who are Teo’s brothers, leading people to raise the issue of conflict of interest. As the PCOO chief, he also supervises the state-run PTV-4, where the Tulfos’ programs are a blocktimer.

Asked by yet another reporter what President Rodrigo Duterte’s comment was on the issue with the DOT and the Tulfos, Roque said that he did not know then because he had not talked to the President for a while and the investigation conducted by the Office of the President was ongoing then.

The headline used in the video is misleading. It meant to make people think that the Tulfo brothers have been cleared from the issue involving them with the controversial P60-million tourism ad deal.

However, reports showed that even after Teo resigned from her post on May 7, the Ombudsman will still continue with the probe into the scandal. The body requested from the Commission on Audit (COA) a copy of its DOT report involving the controversial P60-million worth of payments for ads aired on PTV on May 8. The investigation is still ongoing, which meant that they it has not yet cleared the Tulfos.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea is also said to be investigating the scandal to determine the officials at fault at the DOT, People’s Television Network Inc. (PTNI), and the PCOO.

Ramon Tulfo, an Inquirer columnist, came out in the defense of his sister Teo and blamed  his younger brother Ben Tulfo for the controversy.

Party-list group Akbayan, however, said it was not enough for Teo to step down from her post. They wanted her to be prosecuted.

“The simple firing or resignation of corrupt officials will not put a stop to corruption in the government if this is not followed by swift prosecution and conviction,” the group said in a statement.

Akbayan also challenged President Duterte to file cases against Ben and Erwin Tulfo over the controversial ad transaction. Ben owns Bitag Media, which produced the PTV show “Kilos Pronto,” the program where the DOT ads were aired. His brother, Erwin, co-hosts the show with him.

Sources: ( newsinfo.inquirer.ne , thestandard.com.ph , cnnphilippines.com , rappler.com , news.abs-cbn.com , businessmirror.com.ph )

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Busted: Legarda sinumbatan si Robredo na mag-resign bago pa lumabas ang resulta na panalo si Marcos? Misleading headline!

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Senator Loren Legarda allegedly confronted Vice President Leni Robredo and asked her to resign before the results would show former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as the winner.

The video was posted by blog dailydu30.info on May 15, 2018. The vice presidential vote recount is still ongoing, so the headline must have been referring to the result of the recount. It also made it seem as though Legarda is telling Robredo that she is certain that Marcos would emerge as the winner in the recount.

The YouTube video is 20-minute long and Legarda’s face was immediately shown at the beginning of the video. However, if you finish watching it, you’d know immediately that the video was not taken recently. In fact, it showed a portion of the budget hearing for 2017 for the Office of the Vice President. Further research showed that the hearing was conducted in front of the Senate panel on August 22, 2017 and it lasted less than an hour before it was approved. Robredo herself attended the budget hearing to present an overview of the OVP’s plans for 2018.

Legarda served as the Senate panel’s chair.

During the hearing, Robredo reported how the OVP spent its funds, mainly for poverty alleviation.

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The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that following the presentation on the fund allocation of the OVP, Legarda asked Robredo to send them a yearlong report on the needs of the sectors and areas that the OVP has reached while promising to help out on fulfilling those needs.

So unlike what the headline claimed, Legarda did not tell Robredo to resign from her VP post to make way for Marcos’ imminent victory. The headline is misleading and is merely playing with people’s emotions and gullibility.

However, Facebook page “Sara Duterte Worldwide Supporters” still shared it without verifying the headline’s claims.

There have been several fake stories involving Marcos and Robredo and the VP vote recount that we have busted. We debunked a misleading headline claiming that Marcos has already won, that Marcos won by 1,786 votes over Robredo, that Robredo would perform her tasks as VP until Marcos takes over, and that Marcos will replace Robredo.

Sources: ( philstar.comnewsinfo.inquirer.net )

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