Press Release
July 16, 2015


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, a laureate of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for government service, urged her colleagues on Thursday to address loopholes that allow non-professionals to illegally practice medicine with impunity.

Santiago has filed proposed Senate Resolution No. 1431, calling for committee hearings on reports that non-professionals posing as doctors are putting public health at risk. She is also set to file a bill to deter and immediately stop such acts.

"The government is duty-bound to protect its citizens from unscrupulous individuals who claim to be practitioners of medicine and other professions without legitimate education, training, and experience," the senator said.

Her resolution is based on a petition through, an online signature campaign platform, against businesswoman Antonia Carandang-Park, who allegedly accepts patients as a licensed physician even without proper credentials.

The signature campaign was launched by Bernard Tan, who sought murder and estafa charges against Park in 2013, months after his daughter, Kate, died following a stem cell treatment and a juice diet Park prescribed for Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Slamming inaction on the part of the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation, Tan claimed that Park still practices medicine despite charges of illegal practice of medicine and estafa. Tan's petition has gained 7,000 signatures so far.

Under the present law, a person found guilty of illegal practice of medicine is punishable with a fine of P1,000 to P10,000, with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than five years, or with both fine and imprisonment.

"There must be a mechanism to preventively suspend the practice of alleged medical professionals pending questions of legality. More importantly, such mechanism must be implemented without delay," Santiago said.

Santiago is on medical leave due to lung cancer, stage four, but continues to perform her Senate duties. She filed 1,324 bills and resolutions, the highest number among senators, since Congress opened in June 2013, until in adjourned sine die in May.

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