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MISSING CONTEXT: Edgar Sarmiento is not a principal author of Samar Island Medical Center bill

Rappler.com
MISSING CONTEXT: Edgar Sarmiento is not a principal author of Samar Island Medical Center bill
In 2019, Tingog Party List Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez and Leyte 1st District Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez filed a bill seeking to establish Samar Island Medical Center. It was substituted later on with House Bill No. 8195, of which Sarmiento is a principal author.
At a glance
  • Claim: Samar 1st District Representative Edgar Mary Sarmiento is not a principal author of the bill which seeks to establish the Samar Island Medical Center. 
  • Rating: MISSING CONTEXT
  • The facts: In 2019, Tingog Party List Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez and Leyte 1st District Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez filed House Bill No. 1153, an earlier version of the bill seeking to establish the Samar Island Medical Center. It was substituted later on with House Bill No. 8195, of which Sarmiento is a principal author.
  • Why we fact-checked this: A Facebook page of a block time radio show called Damdamin Ng Bayan made this claim.
Complete details

Damdamin ng Bayan, the Facebook page of the radio show of the same name on the local radio station called Infinite Radio Calbayog, claimed that Samar 1st District Representative Edgar Mary Sarmiento is not one of the primary authors of the House Bill No. 8195. 

HB 8195 is also known as the bill seeking to establish a tertiary hospital called Samar Island Medical Center in the city of Calbayog in the province of Samar. 

The hosts of the show are Calbayog mayoralty candidate Raymond “Monmon” Uy and a certain Jaynard Monterona. 

Damdamin Ng Bayan, in a Facebook post, shared a screenshot of Tingog Party List’s post, which says Samar Island Medical Center (SIMC) is one of its priority bills. 

Tingog, represented by Yedda Marie Romualdez, did not say that Sarmiento was not one of the bill’s principal authors. 

Panuyo hini nga mapaupay an iginhahatag nga serbisyo medikal para ha bug-os nga Eastern Visayas kun diin an SIMC an usa ha mga prayoridad nga balaudnon nga iginduduso han TINGOG Partylist ha siyahan hini nga termino ha Kongreso,” Tingog Party List wrote in its Facebook post. 

(This aims to provide better medical service to the entire Eastern Visayas, where SIMC is one of the priority bills TINGOG Party List has been pushing under its first term in Congress.)

Damdamin ng Bayan, however, said Tingog was the principal author and that Sarmiento just rode on its success. 

Malinaw pa sa bolang kristal na ang primary author ng HB 8195 o ang panukalang pagtatayo ng Samar Island Medical Center ay ang Tingog Partylist at hindi si Samar first district Edgar Sarmiento. Kung baga sa outing. Si Tingog Partylist ang nagplano sumama na lang sa outing Si Cong Ed,” Damdaming Ng Bayan claimed. 

(It’s clearer than a crystal ball that the primary author of HB 8195, or the bill which seeks to establish the Samar Island Medical Center, is the Tingog party-list group and not Samar 1st District Representative Edgar Sarmiento. It’s like Cong Ed just joined an outing planned out by Tingog Party List.)

Pero balewala para kay DNB ang panukalang batas na ito, kung noong 2011 ay pinagpatuloy ng LP ang approved nang Calbayog City Hospital ni noo’y Calbayog City Mayor Ining Uy. Kung hindi lang sana na revert ang pondo matapos siyang mamatay ay ayus na sana ang buto buto. Tama ang sabi sa hula. Ang karma hindi sa kahoy tumatama,” DNB added. 

(But DNB doesn’t care about this bill. If the Liberal Party had just approved the Calbayog City Hospital during the term of the late Mayor Ining Uy, if only they did not revert the funds after he died, putting up SIMC would never have been necessary. The predictions were true – karma doesn’t hit the tree.)

This is missing context.

In 2019, Tingog Party List Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez and Leyte 1st District Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez filed HB 1153, an earlier version of the bill seeking to establish Samar Island Medical Center. Sarmiento wasn’t included in the list of principal authors of HB 1153.

It was substituted later on with HB 8195, which was filed on December 9, 2020.

Sarmiento is one of the principal authors of the bill together with the Romualdezes, Parañaque 1st District Representative Eric Olivarez, Northern Samar 2nd District Representative Jose Ong Jr., and Northern Samar 1st District Representative Paul Ruiz Daza. 

Sarmiento’s camp showed Rappler a letter from Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri to Sarmiento last February 2, informing him that the bill had been passed on third and final reading. 

“I look forward to working with you as we legislate more measures for the benefits of the Filipino people,” Zubiri told Sarmiento in his letter. HB 8195 passed the third and final reading on January 31, 2022. 

Meanwhile, Sarmiento’s camp told Rappler that Damdamin ng Bayan was created to tarnish the congressman’s name. “I think Damdamin ng Bayan is an account mainly established to criticize Cong Edgar,” Sarmiento’s camp said.

Uy, who is one of the hosts of the show and a mayoralty candidate, is running under the same party as Sarmiento’s opponent, Jimboy Tan. – Lance Lim/Rappler.com

Lance Lim is a Visayas-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.

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