Marcos appoints personal physician as FDA chief

·Contributor
·2 min read
Dr. Samuel Zacate personally attended President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his second bout with the COVID-19 virus. (Photo: Dr. Zacate/Facebook)
Dr. Samuel Zacate personally attended President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his second bout with the COVID-19 virus. (Photo: Dr. Zacate/Facebook)

Malacañang has announced on Wednesday (Aug. 3) the appointment of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s personal doctor, Samuel A. Zacate, as the next director-general of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In a televised news briefing, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles called Zacate as “eminently qualified” to head the agency, as he was also a diplomate of the Philippine Society for Venereology and fellow of the International College of Surgeons.

“[Zacate is] a known public health advocate with years of expertise in medicine and medical consultancy in other government units and offices, including the Public Attorney’s Office and Presidential Security Group Hospital,” said the press secretary.

Zacate personally attended Marcos in his second bout with the COVID-19 virus last month, but Angeles is not so sure if his close ties with the president factored into his appointment.

“We are not sure if his being a personal physician actually factored into this,” she said.

The FDA is an attached agency of the Department of Health, and tasked to regulate food, drugs, cosmetics, and other medical products in the country before they go into the market.

Aside from Zacate, the president has also appointed Ret. Brig. Gen. Roman Felix as secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs (OPAMA), and Ret. Maj. Gen. Ariel Caculitan and Ret. Police Gen. Isagani Nerez as undersecretaries of OPAMA.

Felix, a member of the Philippine Military Academy’s (PMA) “Matikas” Class of 1983, has also held other positions within the Philippine National Police (PNP), including as regional director for the Ilocos.

Meanwhile, Caculitan and Nerez, from PMA “Makatao” Class of 1989 and “Maharlika” Class of 1984 respectively, both served in different positions within the Philippine Navy and PNP.

President Marcos has also appointed as acting chair of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Carlo Dimayuga, and Nesauro Firme to the Judicial and Bar Council as representative from the academe.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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