January 3, 2011

Press Statement of NPC President Jerry S. Yap



Why did PCSO let 11-month-old boy die

by refusing to give the pledge for liver transplant?




                The National Press Club’s heart bleeds tremendously for Jesus Raphael Catiis as he died at 11:35 p.m. a day after Christmas Day of 2010 due to inborn damaged liver.


                He could have lived until today if only the Philippines Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) kept its pledge to give half of the P2-million fund needed to pay for the liver transplant scheduled in Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan.


                The boy is a son of an indigent in Tondo, Manila.  Yet fate was so cruel. He was born already with a severe liver illness. His mother, Katherine Raiza V. Catiis, sought the help of the NPC during the incumbency of Benny D. Antiporda as its president.


                The problem looked insurmountable. The amount needed to cure the illness was a fortune for any working class individual, P2 million.  In contrast, the boy’s mother has been living in the poorest slums and ghettos of Tondo, Manila.


                Prompted by the situation and the fact that nobody was going to help due to the mountain-high cost, the NPC accepted the challenge to come to the rescue.


Thus, the then NPC president raised funds and wrote the PCSO for help.


                In response, the PCSO board—composed of then Chairman Sergio O. Valencia, General Manager-Vice Chairman Rosario C. Uriarte and Directors Jose R. Taruc V, Raymundo T. Roquero, Nestor A. Camacho and Manuel L. Morato—passed Resolution No. 1138, Series of 2010, committing a “financial and medical assistance” in the maximum amount of P1 million.


The PCSO pledge left the NPC with the problem of raising P1 million more to pay for the liver transplant to be conducted in the said hospital in Taiwan.


                After the NPC has raised the P1 million counterpart, the mother of the boy came to the PCSO to get the promised P1 million so that Baby Raphael would be brought as soon as possible to Taiwan for the liver transplant. 


But she returned empty-handed.  The PCSO refused to honor the pledge contained in the said board resolution.  Thereafter, she could not help but cry to high heavens while watching her baby die.


                At the time the mother tried to claim the money, the PCSO held a party at Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club attended by 1,200 persons.  P1,000 per person was charged by this premier sports enclave, meaning it spent Php1.2 million for the partying while the baby was dying.


                The chairman of the PCSO is Mrs. Juico.  Her husband is the president of the golf and country club.    In the face of the urgent need for P1 million to save the life of an extraordinarily pity baby, the PCSO breached its commitment and chose to squander funds in a lavish manner, making the whole mess revolting to conscience.


                Now that the baby is dead, can the PCSO answer for this?  The life of the boy is priceless and yet it cannot be taken back anymore even with the biggest jackpot winning from Lotto.


                Why, Mrs. Juico?


                Why, PCSO General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II?


                Why, was this so, PCSO Directors Ma. Aleta L. Tolentino, Betty B. Nantes, Mabel V. Mamba, and Francisco G. Joaquin III?