Senator Ejercito responds to Ebola issue

Senator JV Ejercito
Senator Ejercito responds to Ebola issue
Senator JV Ejercito responds to a Thought Leaders piece by Sylvia Estrada Claudio

We are saddened that even with the issue of Ebola, it seems that members of the minority cannot escape the harsh reality of being singled out once again, as manifested in the column of Sylvia Estrada Claudio. 

Looking back, there were several senators and congressmen allies of the administration who aired similar sentiments of concern, but my well-meaning intention to raise awareness of and vigilance towards this deadly virus is now being attacked by one of your writers who has an apparent dislike for members of the minority bloc in the Senate. Simply said, we aired the same grievances, but now, only Senator Sotto and I are met with such arbitrary hostility. Isn’t this quite selective, Madam? 

It was Malacañang and the Department of Health that came up with the protocol and measures to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus in the Philippines. These same measures and protocol were brazenly neglected by Acting DOH Secretary Janette Garin and her party, when they recklessly went to Caballo Island without protective gear. So why not address Malacañang with the accusations hurled at me and Senator Sotto? 

Assuming Claudio’s assertion is correct – that we are “ignoramus” in dealing with Ebola – then the protocol measures crafted by Malacañang, the same protocol we have been supporting, should then be amended. 

It is an irrefutable fact that by going to Caballo, Acting Secretary Garin and her party exposed themselves to any possible virus in case there was one. By leaving Caballo and refusing to be quarantined, they likewise exposed our countrymen to the virus in the event there was indeed an infection. They clearly committed a breach of protocol – protocol that they themselves crafted. 

I admire the real journalists who have fearlessly aired similar concerns regarding Garin’s visit. This is not merely a personal concern but a serious national concern. 

We stand by our position that this is not the time for publicity stunts and grandstanding. We have to deal with Ebola with utmost care, and follow the measures imposed by no less than Malacañang. –


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