No 'evil motive' in AFP chief's letter to Chinese envoy for COVID-19 drugs: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 28 2020 02:56 PM | Updated as of Apr 28 2020 02:57 PM

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. file

MANILA - Malacañang said Tuesday it sees nothing wrong with Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Felimon Santos Jr.'s letter to the Chinese envoy in Manila for help in buying an experimental drug from China for the coronavirus disease.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Santos did not violate any law with his letter since the military official does not import or sell the drug.

"I don't think naman there was any evil motive behind the actions of our good general," Roque said in a virtual press briefing.

"He had no bad intentions. But the drug has to be registered with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration)," he added.

Santos admitted writing a letter to Chinese ambassador Huang Xilian for help in buying Carrimycin tablets from China which the military general said he used when he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He has since recovered from the respiratory disease.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had appealed for understanding over Santos' actions.

"Hindi naman siguro very improper yung ginawa nya, wala lang sa lugar, dahil dapat yung mga ganung sulat, idinadaan muna sa Department of Foreign Affairs," Lorenzana said.

(It wasn't very improper. It was just out of place because letters like those should be coursed through the Department of Foreign Affairs.)