Espinoza: Where is Atkinson?

ISN’T it surprising that sometimes the subject of a raid is not around? A classic example is the police raid on American Compounding Pharmacy, Inc., which allegedly sold unregistered medicines.

American David Atkinson, the owner, was not there during the raid by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the police based on the search warrant issued by RTC Judge Teresita Abarquez-Galanida even after a week-long surveillance.

The medicines that Atkinson’s firm made may not be fake, only that these were not registered with the FDA, hence, illegal. That prominent physicians buy their supply from this company means the medicines are not fake and are perhaps effective and cheap.

This is not only a case of manufacturing and selling unregistered medicines but also a case of unfair competition. Licensed medicine manufacturers in the country may have been economically affected by Atkinson’s company hence the raid.

The police and the FDA estimated at P10 million the value of the seized medicines from American Compounding Pharmacy, whose name alone suggests it is into the manufacture of medicines.

Employee Girlie Baricuatro, who was arrested during the raid, is being charged before the Mandaue City Prosecutor’s office. But could she be held liable for the crime of her employer?

Could the physicians who patronized the medicines also be charged? These doctors perhaps don’t even know that the medicines were not registered.

Malacañang has declared today a holiday in Cebu in deference and in honor of Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, who would be laid to his final resting place at the churchyard of Cebu Cathedral. The City of Cebu also proclaimed today as a “Day of Mourning.”

Catholics in Cebu and from the neighboring places have flocked to Cebu City to view the remains of Vidal, the “Prince of Peace,” at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. Former presidents Erap Estrada and now Rep. Gloria Arroyo also visited his wake.

Despite the objection of some few souls, today’s declaration as a holiday is proper because it gives time to those who join today’s burial rites and prevent humongous traffic.

Many things have been said about Cardinal Vidal. My memory of him was during an informal press conference he called at the Palace. When I asked him why the Our Father songs do not have the same tune in different churches, he smiled, “Dong adto simba sa church nga maka sing-along ka.” Farewell Cardinal!
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