Immediate closure of Arroyo stem cell doctor’s clinic ordered

Jee Y. Geronimo
Immediate closure of Arroyo stem cell doctor’s clinic ordered
The Tagaytay mayor's office finds sufficient ground that Antonia Park 'unlawfully used and practiced medicine' in her Green & Young Health & Wellness Center

MANILA, Philippines – The clinic in Tagaytay City where former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sought alternative treatment in 2012 but whose doctor was recently exposed to be unlicensed has been ordered to close down.

In a resolution dated May 29, the office of Mayor Agnes Tolentino directed Antonia Park “to immediately stop the operation” of her clinic which was listed as a “massage clinic/sauna/turkish/swedish bath.”

The resolution listed down “adequate, relevant evidence” that Park “unlawfully used and practiced medicine” in her clinic. It cited the following in revoking Green & Young Health & Wellness Center’s business permit:  

  1. conducting diagnosis of sick patients by palpating on the patient’s palate, diagnosis in general
  2. treating the sick patients by prescribing a fruit and vegetable juice diet
  3. making prescriptions for the fruit and vegetable juice diet signed by “Dra. Antonia Park” in numerous occasions
  4. administering “Bhuang Therapy” as admitted by Mrs. Park in her counter-affidavit
  5. making stem cell treatment in the center as admitted in Mrs. Park’s press release
  6. using the title “MD” in her several prescriptions to Kate Tan and in her press release

The above evidence were based on several affidavits, a Professional Regulatory Commission document which showed Park is not authorized to practice medicine in the country, and a 2012 statement from Park regarding the condition of and alternative treatment for Arroyo.

In July 2012, Park took in Arroyo “for possible stem cell therapy.” Park used the title “MD” in her statement released to the press. (READ: Fourth stem cell treatment for Arroyo)

Republic Act 2382 or The Medical Act of 1959 considers a person as engaged in the practice of medicine when he/she uses MD after his/her name.

ILLEGAL PRACTICE. Dr Antonia Park in this Nov 17, 2012 photo taken by Kate Tan. Photo from Bernard Tan.

Since Park herself admitted she is not a registered physician in the Philippines, “any act constituting practice of medicine will be considered as violative of the law.”

The Office of the Mayor said in the resolution it found sufficient ground for the revocation of the business permit and the closure of the establishment.

Rappler first reported about Park’s medical practice despite being unlicensed. One of Park’s patients, Kate Tan, died on July 4, 2013, due to a tumor that blocked the entry of blood to her heart, secondary to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. 

As Tan started undergoing stem cell treatment in August 2012, Park allegedly promised to cure the patient in 3 months’ time. (READ: DOH: Stem cell therapy not yet proven to be curative)

Acting on a complaint by Park’s former aesthetic physician, Dr Eunice Abad, the National Bureau of Investigation filed in April charges against Park before the Tagaytay City Prosecutor’s Office for illegal practice of medicine. (READ: Arroyo’s stem cell doctor charged with illegal practice)

A month later, Tan’s father, Bernard, filed charges of estafa, illegal medical practice, and murder against Park, also before the Tagaytay City Prosecutor’s Office. 

All the charges against Park are set to undergo preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice in Manila, however. Prosecutor General Claro Arellano ordered the cases transferred, after Bernard Tan filed a motion to inhibit the Tagaytay prosecutor.  with reports from Buena Bernal/

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.