13 July 2009
"The purpose of the offer is to thwart, to stop, to impede the enforcement of the law and I will tell you, as a lawyer, that is an offer of a bribe!"
Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile made this accusation in today's hearing of the Senate Oversight Committtee on Quality Affordable Medicines. Enrile made the charge in view of the revelation that Pfizer offered to give the DOH 5 million discount cards worth P100 million amidst calls led by Senator Mar Roxas for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to sign the Executive Order that would impose Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) for 22 essential medicines.
Pfizer sent no representative to the Senate hearing but Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) Executive Director Reiner Gloor confirmed that Pfizer did make such an offer to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III which the latter reportedly rejected.
More on this story in this report by Ruth Cabal courtesy of GMANews.tv: