BUYING pork from the public markets, malls and legit meat stores is safe, according to the National Meat Inspection Services (NMIS), even as the rest of the country has been panicking on the African Swine Fever (ASF).
In a brief talk with Dr. Orlando Ongsotto, NMIS-Central Luzon director, the Pampanga Press Club learned that as long as the meat being sold in the markets passed through the inspection of NMIS, the food we serve on our tables is safe.
The national government, through the Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), depopulated swine confirmed to carry ASF in the past month. No vaccine has been developed yet to prevent ASF. So the government has launched a ground campaign, helping LGUs (local government units) to clear their areas of the ASF affected swine.
The buying public, despite repeated reports that ASF is not transferrable to humans, have avoided eating pork. This has caused losses to the hog industry and the meat markets. However, NMIS said that they have coordinated with the local governments and fielded local meat inspection officers at local slaughterhouses to make sure of the safety of meat coming from the farms and other producers.
According to NMIS, the local meat inspectors are required to check for veterinary certificates and shipping permits signed by BAI on livestock or meat delivered to the slaughterhouses. The certificates are only good for a day.
So the guiding rule for everyone is to avoid buying pork from backyard piggery. Better to buy from the supermarkets and the public markets because you can be assured that the meat was inspected by the NMIS and is safe to consume.
Greed. Shame. And more shame. The Senate Blue ribbon Committee cited alleged ninja cop Major Rodney Baloyo in contempt last October 3, 2019 for allegedly lying about the details of an anti-drug raid in Pampanga in 2013.
The anomalous buy-bust operation that had been the center of the Senate hearings recently has caused huge damage on the reputation and image of the Philippine National Police (PNP) led by General Osacar Albayalde, who by the way, was the provincial head of Pampanga when the raid happened.
The group of Baloyo tagged as ninja cops allegedly set free a drug lord identified as Johnson Lee in exchange of drug money amounting to P50 million. During that time, they presented a Korean national in place of Lee despite the fact that several witnesses saw them holding Lee in custody earlier during the initial raid.
On top of this, they only declared about 36 kilos out of the alleged 200 kilos of shabu that was actually confiscated during the raid. Double whammy.
How can they bear such unforgivable crime to their conscience?
How can they live with that knowing that a drug lord will definitely ruin thousands of lives when he is free to sell illegal drugs again?
And how can they allow the recycling of illegal drugs?
These ninja cops are obviously living beyond their means. Baloyo was seen wearing a million-peso worth wristwatch during the hearing. They also own properties and luxurious cars even as they only receive average salaries at the PNP.
And worse, they are still in active service at the PNP with positions and responsibilities.
Why would Albayalde allow this? If the case if as controversial as it is, then why would the PNP national chief cuddle or tolerate men in uniform that are causing disgrace and shame to the uniform?
There is no doubt that these cops are guilty. Yes, I agree that there should be proper court litigation for them. But the witnesses, the evidence, the conflicting affidavits, the clash within their own ranks only points to one truth. They were guilty and they should be punished.
We want our law enforcers to be the epitome of integrity and credibility. We want to be safe not to be duped or manipulated. This craziness must stop. Put them all in prison, I say.