MANILA - A private hospital in Cebu said Friday it was ready to hold talks with the family of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Cebu 3rd District Rep. and Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia to give them answers over the deaths of their siblings who had contracted COVID-19.
"With the consent of the family, we are ready to dialogue with them, and provide any answers that may help them in their search for closure," Chong Hua Hospital said in a statement.
The hospital was reacting to reports that the prominent political clan would seek expert opinion on whether or not the medical interventions conducted on their brothers were appropriate.
Nelson Garcia, a former mayor of Dumanjug town, died on Sept. 1 due to "cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to probable massive pulmonary embolism," according to his medical certificate.
Five days later, his brother Marlon Garcia, an incumbent mayor of Barili town, passed away due to "septic shock secondary to catheter related bloodstream infection, ventilator associated pneumonia.”
Both were admitted in the hospital after contracting COVID-19, and according to the family were "COVID confirmed but critical pneumonia recovered.”
Their siblings include the Cebu governor, who earlier promoted steam inhalation or "tuob" against the virus.
"We can only imagine the loss and grief that the members of the Garcia family are going through right now. Indeed, our deepest and most sincere condolences go out to them, and all the loved ones of the departed," the hospital said.
Chong Hua Hospital, however, stressed that its staff members provide "only the best possible care for its patients."
The 2 attending physicians of the Garcia brothers, in particular, are "reputable and outstanding doctors, and are specialists in their fields," it added.
"It is a sad reality that even the most determined effort to save lives sometimes ends up futile. Having served our community for over 100 years, the countless doctors and medical staff who worked in our hospital have undoubtedly felt frustration, discouragement or even pain because of this uncertainty," the hospital added.
The Garcia siblings held a press conference on Thursday to demand answers over their brothers' deaths.
"Yes, they both tested positive for COVID-19, as did I around the same period, but they have recovered from COVID-19," Pablo John told reporters.
"The doctors themselves will tell you and the death certificates would show that they have recovered from COVID-19..."
"It would seem the immediate causes both of their deaths were post-COVID treatment and interventions of the medical doctors," he added.
During their 1-month stay at the hospital, Nelson and Marlon were billed over P3 million and over P5 million in hospital expenses, respectively.