The letter of Armed Forces chief General Felimon Santos asking assistance from a Chinese official to procure medicine for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was authentic but it has already been withdrawn, spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said Tuesday.
In a press statement, Arevalo said the letter has been withdrawn after Santos learned that the medicine, specifically Carrimycin tablets, was prohibited by the Food and Drug Administration.
"Much as it was taken by the CSAFP per his own physician’s advice, he learned that the tablets have not been approved by the Bureau of Food and Drugs," Arevalo said.
Santos got infected with COVID-19 but he has since recovered from the disease.
According to Arevalo, Santos believed the said medicine helped him recover from COVID-19.
"He doesn’t want to keep the cure to himself and would like to share his experience to some of his friends," he said.
"He sought assistance from the Ambassador through the Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the Philippines to procure the tablets since it is available only in China," he added.
A letter of Santos addressed to Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, asking for assistance in the purchase of five boxes of carrimycin tablets in China, circulated online.
In the letter, Santos said he wants to give the medicine to some of his friends who got infected with COVID-19.
Arevalo said the AFP does not see any conflict of interest with Santos' move.
"This is about medicine that the AFP chief feels can save people’s lives. That is more compelling," Arevalo said.—AOL, GMA News