Press Release
June 18, 2009

Press Statement of Senator Loren Legarda

On A(H1N1) subsidy

Despite assurance by the Department of Trade and Industry that the increase in the price of face masks in the country has to do with the mark-up in pricing by foreign suppliers, our government must ensure against predatory pricing by local suppliers and dealers.

While we may not able to dictate on foreign suppliers of equipment and medicines needed in addressing the A(H1N1) problem, it may be a case of us not looking hard enough to find alternative sources for the needed supplies.

In as much as we have passed a law to make affordable medicines accessible to our people, our government is mandated not only to secure for our people the needed face masks and A(H1N1) medicines, but also to make the same accessible to the majority of our poor countrymen.

If need be, the government must subsidize the cost of A(H1N1) medicines because the health of our people is of paramount importance. If Congress needs to pass a supplemental budget for this purpose, so be it.

On GMA as prime minister

Malacañang officials had been tripping over one another in denying a report that President Arroyo intends to run for a seat in Congress in 2010 in lieu of her son Rep. Mikey Arroyo. But with the parallel moves of this administration to amend the Constitution through a flawed constituent assembly bereft of Senate participation, the true intention behind all these can now be clearly seen.

No, the President does not intend to run for Congress, at least not for a seat in Congress under our present Presidential form of government. The true motivation may be for her to become Prime Minister if and when her allies at the House of Representatives are able to establish a parliamentary form of government.

All the bobbing and weaving by this administration in an effort not to telegraph its moves are fooling no one. Behind all the maneuverings is a clear intention by the administration to stay in power through a shift in the form of government from Presidential to Parliamentary through a con-ass initiative that is not only illegal but is also immoral.

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