Are Magnitsky sanctions coming to the Philippines?

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam squirms whilst explaining her inclusion on the list for Magnitsky sanctions.

Analysis and Opinion

By Joe America

Answering the question is not as simple as: “There are gross human rights abuses in the Philippines. Put President Duterte on the list.”

Let’s review Magnitsky sanctions and consider whether or not it is likely that Filipino human rights abusers will be added to the global list of sanctioned individuals.

 

What are Magnitsky sanctions?

Magnitsky is Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian accountant who in 2008 revealed massive corruption in Russia, was jailed for tax evasion, beaten by captors, and died in 2009.

The US enacted The Magnitsky Act in 2012, then expanded it in 2016 to authorize the US government to sanction those found to be human rights offenders or those involved in significant corruption by freezing their assets and banning them from entering the US. [Wiki]

The act has formed the basis of parallel acts passed by other countries. The European Union is on the cusp of enacting the legislation. Countries with Magnitsky laws now include Canada and the United Kingdom, and a number of smaller eastern European states.

The most prominent person on the US sanctions list is Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam who was recently added for her acquiescence to the abuses taking place there under China’s heavy hand.

 

Why are Magnitsky sanctions powerful?

The sanctions pinpoint individuals accountable for human rights abuses or corruption. They represent a “hall of shame” and apply specific punishments on sanctioned individuals: limits on travel and restraints on financial affairs. Banks must freeze their assets or risk violating US law, or laws of other nations applying sanctions.

The punishments are faster, hit harder, and are targeted more specifically than UN human rights processes, such as those of the International Criminal Court, which are ponderous and constrained by its bureaucratic processes.

Democratic states that have “human rights” within their constitutions or core values can take action on their own under Magnitsky sanctions.

The US Department of State hosts a web site that records global Magnitski policies and actions. Magnitsky is a very active undertaking at the current time. Here’s a link to the site: Global Magnitsky Act

 

The crucial calculation: state or individual?

The US primarily cites individuals or corporations for Magnitsky violations. Invariably, any state responds badly to a citing of its officials or companies. Russia passed a “reverse-Magnitsky law” targeting persons or entities undermining its sovereignty. An unfounded rumor that the Philippines’ former police chief, now Senator ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, might have his visa cancelled by the US provoked President Duterte into yanking the Philippines from its Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the US.

So there is a political chemistry to the implementation of sanctions.

Would Filipino human rights be advanced if President Duterte got cited and then decided he was done with democracy and the US?

No.

That broader view -what is best for Filipino citizens, under democracy – as well as other considerations such as strategic defense initiatives, means that sanctions are unlikely to be deployed in the Philippines to exact accountability from individuals. The state-to-state relationship is too important as long as both nations are benefitting from the alliance.

Essentially, the US will respect the sovereign democracy of the Philippines rather than insert Magnitsky sanctions to try to ‘direct’ that democracy along a more humanitarian path.

Now if democracy in the Philippines collapsed, if President Duterte went on an anti-America rampage, or if 2022 elections were rigged to sustain an abusive leadership, then that calculation could change. If the Philippines became an unreliable partner state, like Hong Kong, it is possible that sanctions would follow.

Incoming US President Joe Biden is a proponent of decency, democracy and human rights. But he is more a negotiator than an imperialist, haha. I doubt that he will deploy Magnitsky in the Philippines.

 

How broadly might sanctions apply in a country like the Philippines?

If this projection were wrong, or circumstances changed so that Magnitsky sanctions were applied to Philippine leaders who promoted human rights violations, who might be sanctioned.

It’s certainly speculative.

Magnitsky-sanctioned individuals must have a clear role in corruption or human rights abuses. Hmmm. Corruption. That could be hundreds of people in the Philippines, if we got down to looking at LGU and congressional kickbacks and police or AFP human rights abuses. However, most of these cases would get addressed through due process under a cleaned-up nation. But to clean the nation, the big dogs of corruption and abuse must be named. Their connection to abuses must be clear.

Well, I am not going to try to belabor the details here, but it is easy to start at the top and consider under whose watch the most egregious abuses occurred. Here are five people we could imagine might be cited:

  • President Duterte, for overall complicity
  • Senator Dela Rosa, for police abuses during the drug war
  • Secretaries Aguirre and Guevarra for imprisonment of Senator De Lima
  • Solicitor General Calida for abuses of due process and his ‘lawfare’ persecutions

Other police chiefs might also be considered. AFP generals who promoted abuses against indigenous people or innocent civilians might also be added. These considerations would take a lot of research and documentation and would not add much to the point being made. The point being made? Stop the abuses.

I don’t know if there will be a ‘right time’ for Philippine Magnitsky listings. I think it will depend on how well human rights issues are addressed by this and future administrations. Will De Lima continue to be treated badly by the justice system? Will police killings continue? How will AFP’s focus on domestic enforcements play out?  Will corruption continue to go mainstream?

The Philippines controls these matters.

It’s hard to have confidence that the Duterte Government will put human rights front and center.

But the US and other states are likely to let it play out.

 

Comments
91 Responses to “Are Magnitsky sanctions coming to the Philippines?”
  1. Mea says:

    Sanctioned why you don’t apply this to those corrupt officials particularly who are involved in drugs! Pres. Duturte do his job to lessen this drug addict in the Philippines however he gives them a chance to surrender but these people are hard-headed they choose to be addct so what we are we expecting for magic and blame the government by killing wtf!!

    • The view in the US is likely that this is a Filipino matter to deal with.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Yes include the narco politicians, all including the one with Triad connections once allegations are proven true.
      Also include the one who refused to waive bank accounts.

      Any form of abuse is wrong, drug abuse can still be corrected or rehabbed
      The form of rehab for human rights abusers and corrupt are sanctions and of course imprisonment.

      The sandigan bayan has 4000 pending cases and that was two years ago.
      By the time a high profile case is finished if the accused is still alive, soon enough he or she will no longer be.
      We must find a way to expedite that.
      Since that takes forever and a day, sanctions will suffice.

      Ps
      Abuses by the state and enemies of the state is wrong and must be made right.

      • kasambahay says:

        ours is a sovereign nation, I think, magnitsky law only kicks in if one travels to estados unidos, their entry visa denied, their properties duon frozen as well. as long as our home grown human rights violators stay in our country, our own common law apply to them at hindi pwedeng magnitsky.

        once they approached US embassy asking for entry permit, they’d probly be denied visa to enter america.

        our human rights violators can always travel to hongkong, china, russia, and other countries where human rights is not much of an issue.

        methink, those with diplomatic immunity are magnitsky exempt.

        • The global financial system is still American and European in practice. I believe this is the reason why Carrie Lam is using cash, MasterCard and Visa are still mostly US. Imagine no credit cards for all the Admin officials. Imagine all our admin officials with houses overseas not being able to pay through mobile banking. How much hassle this would all be for them. How will they pay for the Ivy League education of their grandchildren?

          • Karl Garcia says:

            With their diplomatic immunity.

            • But you have to ask yourself Karl is Carrie Lam being irked? Because it is difficult to lose the comforts of internet banking and other arrangements like credit cards and e-money in advanced nations.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Yes it is difficult.

              • kasambahay says:

                I’m presuming po carrie lam has not been putting all her eggs in one basket! has holdings not only in america but also in singapore, japan, and even in taiwan! and of course, it irks her, throwing people off their course and making it appear she’s magnitsky vulnerable and affected. but, is she really?

                anyhow, magnitsky law excites a lot of lawyers that specialize in international business and banking laws, they knew how to go around magnitsky. I’ve heard of trusts and tiers that lawyers set up for their international clients, some infamous, some magnanimous. lawyers do look after thier cashed up clients well, even pay for violators’ children’s education, their expenses, accommodation and living arrangements catered for. been very early birds, them lawyers and not slow poke too, acted before magnitsky become law.

                at saka most violators of human rights have cohorts, relatives and kins that live overseas, making the right kind of noises as though they’re utterly ethical, blameless and oh so innocent and utterly, utterly not depositories.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Look no furrher:
                Imelda Marcos and family.
                Juan Ponce Enrile.
                The Estradas
                The Arroyos.

              • There is a rumor that Sen Imee Marcos cannot step foot on the US due to court cases. The Magnitsky makes the world smaller for people like them.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Good.

              • Hello Kasambahay, the restrictions are really restrictive. US corporations are not allowed to deal with her, foreign corporations dealing with her may also be sanctioned. This is why she is dealing primarily with cash.

              • kasambahay says:

                guys, not long ago imelda marcos did travel to estados unidos and bought the copper/bronze coffin that costed around $35K that was used for makoy’s internment sa libingan ng mga bayani. if imee cannot go to estados unidos, others of her angkan can certainly do, to shop, to study, for vacations and for health reasons.

                as for carrie lam, she has china backing and has choice of chinese cryptocurrencies at her disposal. so long as carrie is being china’s good girl and ensure hong kong is pliable and totally under china’s stranglehold, all carrie girl has to do is holler and china will ply her with vouchers and whatnots, much like china ply best friend and ally, north korea’s kim jung un na kahit may world sanction vs north korea, worldly goods still get to north korea.

                as for frozen assets, carrie lam ought to make legal testaments bequeathing them to her kins. she can always change her testament later when political climate changes, but if death precedes her, all the more reason for her to update her last will and testament.

                I’m not crying the argentina for carrie.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I would say that China has no money because of LGU debts and Corporate debts but you would not believe me because of their mega infra, defense and even Space spending, etc

              • The way china debt and business is structured is that China within can fund that just have to remember Keynesian concepts with a little MMT. The debts to watch are the one not denominated in RMB. China engages in capital and currency controls.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Yup thanks.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Come to think if it, it is common knowledge that even anti-Americans send their children to Ivy League Universities

  2. Karl Garcia says:

    This is about the Magnitsky awards

    https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/world/biden-magnitsky-us-can-lead-world-human-rights

    Start quote
    London: “When I am President, human rights will be at the core of US foreign policy”, said candidate Joe Biden during the recent presidential election campaign. This will be a welcome change to White House policy. During the past four years, human rights figured way down the list of priorities in Washington, if at all. President Donald Trump’s fawning admiration for dictators and elected strongmen, who carry out unspeakable acts of violence against their opponents, is unparalleled in American history. As if to emphasise his disinterest in the subject, Trump withdrew the US from the “biased” UN Human Rights Council on the spurious grounds that it was “hopelessly compromised” by the very same bad actors that he was busy coddling at the time. Trump’s impact has been insidious, leaving freedom and human rights without global leadership.
    End Quote.

  3. It’s so arbitrary, Joe.

    W. Bush and the Neo-cons could be found guilty (kangaroo courts already have) for the Iraq war.

    Obama and Hillary’s girls (Susan Rice/Samantha Power, et al) for Arab Spring, ex. Egypt, Libya and Syria.

    Bill Clinton for Monica, etc.

    Bush Sr. for the Gulf War, etc.

    Reagan for Iran-Contra, etc.

    on and on…

    It’s basically the Watchmen’s dilemma, who watches the Watchmen? I too think Biden will find wisdom in Trump’s foreign policy, mainly we’ll handle our business, y’all… good luck.

    I shudder to think if Harris and Newsom come together in the WH. I hope Biden stays healthy all 4 years, Joe. Because those two are your human rights warriors. They’ll go to war over human rights.

    here’s a relevant criteria, from Robert Baer’s book:

    • Circumstances watch the watchmen. Everyone does their best, everyone else makes trouble for them. Circumstances outside their control gives them a path to follow.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Looked Newsom up.
      It seems that Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch want him to sign into law the Private Detention oversight law in CA
      I also read that he just signed the Civil Rights law.

      • Sorry, I shoulda added he’s the California governor, BBFs with Kamala Harris. Newsom was also married (now divorced) to Kimberly Guilfoyle, now dating Donald Trump Jr. Which solidifies the probability of his eventual ascension to the number three spot, ie. Harris will tap him to be her VP in case no Biden.

        Here’s a good issue now relevant with Newsom here, karl, https://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/mcmansion-tents-homeless-showers-kitchens-los-angeles-streets-hollywood-venice/2458552/

        Among many regarding the homeless problem here. This one in particular the solution it seems was to give the homeless bigger tents, ergo they have a home! Newsom’s office gave the tents.

        “One tent near downtown LA occupied by a homeless man had a working shower, kitchen, water heater, electricity and even a doorbell.

        In Hollywood, another tent installed a 15-foot slide for entertainment. And, in Venice, a tent had its own wading pool, while another had its own tiki bar to serve drinks to other homeless people. The tiki bar was removed by city sanitation workers in April.

        Residents and business owners in these areas call these “McMansion tents,” and say they’ve created dangerous living conditions for the people inhabiting them, and serious public health and safety problems for everyone else.

        “When did these stop being our sidewalks? When did they stop being the public’s sidewalks?” said Estela Lopez, who heads the Central City East Business Improvement District. “We can’t have the city turn its back and surrender its jurisdiction over the safety of our sidewalks.”

        A backlash is a brewing. Newsom is in the middle. Just like how California sheriffs have pledged to not enforce any COVID19 health violations, ya know because Newsom berated the police for being all abusive this past summer.

        Weirdly, the Biden administration is also looking in LA mayor Garcetti, so if anything it’s looking like a very California administration in the WH, karl.

  4. Breaking: live Biontech vaccine press conference. The UK has given emergency use authorization today. Distribution starts soon.

    • Thanks to NHerrera for this graphic of the logistics of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine:

      Even though BioNTech CEO Sahin said that they are now testing if the vaccine will survive -20 degrees Celsius, and are developing a new room temperature version planned for the second half of 2021.

      This is how a German vaccination center looks like. People movement is optimized to avoid crowding that could accidentally infect people. Mobile teams are planned to go into old people’s homes where a lot of outbreaks take place – they and frontliners are first priority.

      • A video of the interview of Prof. Ugur Sahin and Dr. Özlem Türeci of BioNTech:

        Excerpt of the interview transcript:

        ..Kara Swisher
        I think you guys would probably go first. Let’s talk about the beginnings of the vaccine development and the first steps. So COVID-19 took a lot of people by surprise, but when it started to break out in Wuhan, there had been previous outbreaks, and they ended pretty quickly. And so, many people hadn’t thought this was going to happen. What prompted, in each of your minds, that this was the one? Because previous ones had burnt out, essentially.

        Ugur Sahin
        Yes, I think that there are some specific aspects of this virus. First of all, it is now 20 years ago since the last SARS outbreak happened. And in the meantime, we have just more traffic and more traveling. So the world became smaller, and people are traveling. And China is one of the economically most dominant countries worldwide, and there’s a lot of business now from China to the rest of the world. And that’s one aspect. And the second key aspect for this virus is that a proportion of infected people did not have symptoms, and that opened up the door to have this global spreading.

        Kara Swisher
        So what did you say to each other? Why this one?

        Ugur Sahin
        I was convinced that this will become a pandemic very early. And this was the end of January. After reading a Lancet publication with all the details, it was very clear to me that we have to do something. We have a number of skills in our company and technologies which could allow us to respond fast. So one is the messenger RNA technology that we had developed, and we had infectious disease vaccine programs running. But the second aspect was that our team based on our personalized cancer vaccine platform had built processes which allowed us to evaluate in short time multiple candidates.

        Kara Swisher
        All right, Dr. Tureci, could you explain the uses of the messenger RNA? Because this is technology that hadn’t been approved for human use before. This is not the way most vaccine creation has happened. Is that correct?

        Ozlem Tureci
        Yes, so mRNA is not a vaccine or drug class which has been approved until now. However, it’s a technology which is around for more than two decades. And it has also been used in clinical trials, both in cancer, as well as infectious disease indications, for many years now.

        Kara Swisher
        Can you talk about the actual science of it?

        Ozlem Tureci
        So mechanistically, what you want to achieve with a vaccine, is that you vaccinate a person and thereby you ensure that the immune system sees parts of the virus, or an attenuated form of the virus, and understands against which protein structures to raise an immune response. And if this person then at some point encounters the real virus, the immune response is already there and act very fast and prevent a disease. And what we do with mRNA is that we provide, not the proteins, the virus proteins themselves, but the genetic information, namely the RNA, which is a precursor of protein.

        Kara Swisher
        So you’re putting in a synthetic genetic instructions rather than the actual dead virus. Is that a dumb way of saying it?

        Ozlem Tureci
        Exactly. It’s a synthetic form of genetic information of a virus. And importantly, it’s not the whole virus. It’s just those fragments, which are of relevance for a good immune response. In this case, for the coronavirus, it’s the genetic information for the spike protein. And the spike protein is a hook, with which the virus plugs into the human cells which it wants to infect. So it’s functionally a very important part of the virus. And against this structure, we can generate an immune response..

        • Hmmmmm. Do I want my genes messed with, or do I want a benign disease shot into my arm. How about I just board up my door and let everyone else do it? Option C.

          • kasambahay says:

            relax, joeam. disease already mess up with our genes, warp some of our genes too. as well, interbreeding dilutes our genes further.

            our genes are quite adaptable and to be on top form, our genetic mechanism needs to be challenged now and then. you are right about that door and like houses, genes do have doors that open and allow entry of ‘assailants’. and just as genes can open its door, it can close its door too, to trap assailants within and kill them.

            relax, nature has it all figured out, and modern technology and higher learning are both helping out. let us not stress further.

            apparently, Pfizer vaccine need to be given in two doses, 21 days apart. 1st dose will probly give 60% protection and the 2 dose brings the 60% protection up to 90%.

            adverse side effects have all been detected at trial stages: sore arm, mild headaches, slight fever and like any injections, there might be little bleeding on the injected site. my friends’ pet hate are soldiers! when vaccinated prior to overseas engagements kuno, there are soldiers that fainted, would rather face a bullet than a needle! too big and heavy to lift or move, soldiers are let stay on the floor, they’ll recover soon enough, thank medics and off they go.

            after 2months of inoculation vs covid, that’s when other ‘unknown’ side effects start to show. pfizer is not expecting any.

            anyhow, karamihan po sa atin ay professionals na as regards vaccinations. we’ve been vaccinated vs TB, el tor, cholera, chicken pox, measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, etc. except for the price, covid vaccine should not be any different.

            • Thanks for the assurances.

              • sonny says:

                Joe, I’m with you about option C. The science takes a long time to determine the true mechanism of the virulence of Covid-19. Any concession to the old normalcy, I feel, is premature, especially because social distancing, mask utilization, and hand-washing are the prudent means in the face of a virus not fully understood. This warning comes from CEO of Pfizer, the proven expert on vaccines.

              • sonny says:

                My bad, Joe. The warning came from Merck CEO, Ken Frazier.

                “What worries me the most is that the public is so hungry, is so desperate to go back to normalcy, that they are pushing us to move things faster and faster,” Frazier said. “Ultimately, if you are going to use a vaccine in billions of people, you’d better know what that vaccine does.”

                On the scientific front, Frazier brought up the fact that it typically takes several years or longer to develop vaccines. Merck won approval for its mumps vaccine after four years of research and development, a record, and it took five and a half years to score an approval for Merck’s Ebola vaccine.
                ***
                … In the last 25 years, pharma companies worldwide have developed seven “truly new” vaccines, Frazier said, and Merck was responsible for four of them. Scientists have been working on an HIV vaccine for decades to no avail, he added.

                By talking up near-term vaccines, Frazier argues officials are enabling the public to ignore common-sense measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing a mask.”

                https://www.fiercepharma.com/vaccines/merck-ceo-frazier-says-covid-19-vaccine-hype-a-grave-disservice-to-public

            • sonny says:

              “our genes are quite adaptable and to be on top form, our genetic mechanism needs to be challenged now and then. you are right about that door and like houses, genes do have doors that open and allow entry of ‘assailants’. and just as genes can open its door, it can close its door too, to trap assailants within and kill them.

              relax, nature has it all figured out, and modern technology and higher learning are both helping out. let us not stress further. ”

              My understanding of mRNA is that our pristine DNA is well defended inside the nucleus of our individual cells. The mRNA can be allowed inside the nucleus, splice a “picture” of the appropriate portion of the DNA and exit the cell nucleus as a single strand “picture” of amino acids that will create the protein that will either repair the deficient cell or help generate a new cell entirely. So yes, our DNA originals are preserved. 🙂

              • This diagram shows more or less how they work:

                Prof. Sahin, BioNTech CEO, explained that mRNA is encased in a lipid coating and quickly disintegrates after doing its job in the cell – making it create the viral spike protein that T-Cells then identify and activate their immune response. What I also read is that the Covid vaccine is a spin-off of 30 years of research trying to combat cancer with mRNA. Sometimes serendipity is the mother of invention.

                DNA BTW never creates proteins directly – it creates mRNA first and then mRNA is transcribed into proteins, basically a sequence of amino acids. In IT parlance, mRNA is LIKE the actual executable code while DNA is just the stored program code.

                The advantage of mRNA over a dead virus is that it disintegrates quickly after doing its job.

                Of course the efficiency of the vaccine (actual immunity conferred as opposed to what was found in tests which BTW were across continents thanks to Pfizer’s immense resource – BioNTech isn’t big) and the duration of immunity in practice are still to be seen. And there is a 2-year monitoring period where side effects will be rigorously documented as one never knows. The vaccine will certainly slow down the spread of Covid as immunity kicks in for ever larger parts of the population (initially it will at least keep seniors in nursing homes from getting sick, then alleviate the strain on healthcare by frontliners getting sick, and finally the strain on ICUs due to risk groups getting sick will get smaller) but the sheer amount of doses needed means most of next year will be about getting people vaccinated. The Mayor of Munich would like to celebrate next year’s Oktoberfest normally (it was cancelled this year) but I doubt that will be possible. Let us see how this all plays out in 2021.

              • sonny says:

                Important primer on how vaccines work (– from US CDC)

                To understand how vaccines work, it helps to first look at how the body fights illness. When germs, such as bacteria or viruses, invade the body, they attack and multiply. This invasion, called an infection, is what causes illness. The immune system uses several tools to fight infection. Blood contains red blood cells, for carrying oxygen to tissues and organs, and white or immune cells, for fighting infection. These white cells consist primarily of macrophages, B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes: …

                Click to access vacsafe-understand-color-office.pdf

      • Karl Garcia says:

        The private sector says not yet ready while DOH saod it will check their facilities

        https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/10/07/2047395/philippines-pins-hope-coronavirus-vaccine-sans-facility-store-them

    • Karl Garcia says:

      I admit I have not checked the DOH site for similar guidelines so here is the CDC’s fact on Covid vaccination.

      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits/facts.html

      * example
      Can those infected or those who recovered be vaccinated?
      —-
      I still have a question on frequency of vaccination shots because I doubt this is one time for life.

      • kasambahay says:

        it’s senator ping lacson po and one more senator that got me knuckles tingling, haha.

        aba, nabakunahan na raw po sila vs covid at walang-wala raw silang side effects, talaga? presuming tuloy ang karamihan na both senators partake of clinical covid trials, dahil walang pa pong approve na covid vaccine sa atin.

        still, to say na wala silang side effects, boggles me mind po. maybe they were given placebo! dahil kung bakuna talaga, can you imagine a razor sharp inch long needle going through a layer of fat pad (adepose) piercing both the epidermis and the dermis of the upper arm, the needle going in at a 90 degree angle and plunging, just to deposit the vaccine intramuscularly (IM), that really would make for one sore arm. and as a result, the site would have been mamamaga too (inflamed) a few days, sore but manageable.

        walang silang side effects! haha, mukha tuloy both were drugged and felt no pain.

        I am betting me friends will be telling me how many soldiers will faint once given the approved covid vaccine, haha. and no, my friends sabi are not in a habit of taking pics of fainting soldiers and posting them pics sa internet. though all will be documented in soldiers own medical record.

        • The Philippines was certainly not part of the Pfizer/BioNTech Phase 3 tests:

          https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-conclude-phase-3-study-covid-19-vaccine

          The Phase 3 clinical trial of BNT162b2 began on July 27 and has enrolled 43,661 participants to date, 41,135 of whom have received a second dose of the vaccine candidate as of November 13, 2020. Approximately 42% of global participants and 30% of U.S. participants have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, and 41% of global and 45% of U.S. participants are 56-85 years of age. A breakdown of the diversity of clinical trial participants can be found here from approximately 150 clinical trials sites in United States, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina. The trial will continue to collect efficacy and safety data in participants for an additional two years.

          Based on current projections, the companies expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. Four of Pfizer’s facilities are part of the manufacturing and supply chain; St. Louis, MO; Andover, MA; and Kalamazoo, MI in the U.S.; and Puurs in Belgium. BioNTech’s German sites will also be leveraged for global supply.

          The vaccines for the UK are being produced in Belgium BTW. The EU’s regulatory body EMA is expected to decide on Dec. 29th – the EU takes care of allotments to individual EU countries, Germany delegates its vaccination implementation to its states but also allots the supply which will be limited and determines the priorities which are not yet fully finalized. Bavaria it seems has the most vaccination centers, literally in every city and county. The state has ordered the cities/counties to be ready by Dec. 15 so they can start anytime.

          • kasambahay says:

            Rule, Britania, Britania rules the waves! I’m so happy for UK! they’ll start vaccinating in a few days. britons know how to prioritize and pfizer deliver. of course, there are detractors, foremost are americans, haha. may rivalry yata.

            ecstatic ako for UK! americans will probly get their vax maybe in spring and summer next year, too late for them now, hindi na yata makakahabol.

            america’s dr fauci has donald trump moment and sourgraped pfizer. the good doctor backtracked later and laughed off the incident, supportive na siya ngayon and lauding UK.

            thanks for the link, Irineo.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Is Lacson calling Sotto a liar?
            Immaterial daw if innoculated na si Lacson or not.

            https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1364638/lacson-whether-or-not-i-had-my-covid-19-vaccine-is-of-little-significance

            • kasambahay says:

              I’m starting to smell a rat. our country couldnot possibly buy pfizer vaccines without proper storage facilities. run down bodegas are not up to the task. tapos, may mga takot pang magpabakuna. dapat daw sina health sec duque and vaccine tzar galvez et al ang mag-paunang magpabakuna at ipakita sa sambayan na walking on two feet pa sila, alive and well and talking, and not eaten by worms six feet under.

              so, ito, why the rush to borrow billions of money to buy vaccines that cannot be stored properly, let alone vaccinate people that dont want to be vaccinated? baka ang labas nito ay corruption. billions of vaccine money parked in govt agencies, unliquidated but earning interest. ah, 2022 election, gotta prepare early.

              the entrepreneurial among them will probly sell the vaccines sa black market, making sure there is money for election expenses.

              anyway, private firms are also very interested to buy covid vaccines soonest, gotta ensure their familes are alive and well and breathing, their workers not covid sick and continue to be productive.

              • kasambahay says:

                true, immaterial whether or not covid vaccined na sina lacson at romualdez, both would need 2nd dose for vaccine to be effective. wait 2/3weeks, see if both lacson and romualdez have follow up dose.

                and thanks to lacson’s terror law, people are being red tagged na, mostly women.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Raissa Robles put Lacson to task.

                Nakapag usap (maybe through email and PM )din daw sila after a few days or weeks after the articles written about the Terror law.

                This International Humanitarian Law law suits would hopefully go spmewhere even after this admin Unless dismissed quickly.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        From the CDC link

        FACT: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA
        mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work. ​

  5. Karl Garcia says:

    Contrary to the Yahoo News Article, implying that Biden was never tpigh on ductators this articles showed a hint that President Biden supports the Magnitsky Act.

    https://www.cfr.org/article/joe-biden

    Start quote
    The forced detention of over a million Uighur Muslims in western China is unconscionable. America should speak out against the internment camps in Xinjiang and hold to account the people and companies complicit in this appalling oppression, including through sanctions and applying the Magnitsky Act.
    End Quote

  6. Micha says:

    I’d suggest Canada and the UK do a Magnitsky on this lovely family:

    https://th.bing.com/th/id/OIP.K5VdXPSMw3-Rrw1WGOX1qwHaJl?pid=Api&rs=1

    • kasambahay says:

      I can imagine rudy giuliani drench in black hair dye again! working hard to keep his boss off magnitsky, boss’ billions intact and not a cent less.

      then, there’s always israel, friend of israel is trump and if israelis do a masada on him, trump could well be untouchable.

      as well, middle east will be kind to trump, for brokering a peace deal with israel. middle east and israel, they’ll be trump’s back door.

      apparently, it has been reported that china has already been practising its own sort of magnitsky. a number of hongkongers fleeing hongkong for overseas, trying to evade persecution that could see them serving jail sentence in mainland china, found their own bank accounts frozen and inaccessible. the reason given? money laundering, and were made destitute and penniless overseas.

  7. Karl Garcia says:

    Gordon was championing IHL before when he was pushing for it, but he only mentions it to rekind the audience that he was the author.

    He could have filed war crimes accordingly.

    Now the left did file crimes against humanity against Esperon, Parlade, etc.

    https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1368260/rights-group-files-raps-vs-anti-red-task-force

  8. Micha says:

    “Economies are like leaky roofs: it is best to repair them when the sun is out. And since June 2016, Duterte has had ample opportunities to patch holes in the macroeconomy and cracks in the micro one below. He chose instead to wage a bloody war against the drug trade and a rhetorical one with, well, just about everyone.

    Duterte quarreled with the U.S., Canada and the European Union. He brawled with China and flirted with it, too. He called the United Nations, the International Criminal Court and Pope Francis things we will not repeat here. He tussled with the legislature, the judiciary and hinted at assassinating journalists. He directed his ire at rape victims, Holocaust survivors, Arabs, you name it.

    When, though, will Duterte take on the foes he was elected to confront? Inefficiency remains rampant. Corruption is booming. Inequality festering. The addiction to overseas cash remittances remains a bigger threat than fentanyl or OxyContin. Manila’s traffic still squanders billions of dollars of gross domestic product. Voters turned to Duterte to repeat on a national scale his successes in the southern city of Davao, where he served as mayor for 22 years. Yet at every turn, Duterte has been proven to be out of his depth.”

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/How-COVID-19-undid-Duterte-s-poser-government-in-the-Philippines

    A poser, indeed.

    • kasambahay says:

      salamat po sa link. the author of the article is telling us what we already know, nothing new and speaking mostly in hindsight siya. the future? presently, there is much killing going on not just of drug suspects but also of farmers putting their hands up for land reform and gotten bullets between the eyes instead, judges killed, lawyers as well, priests shoot dead inside churches, journalists killed. armed forces killing each other too, soldiers and polis trading not blows but bullets. failed intel.

      the future? thought ngayon ng karamihan, since killing is now trend, why not kill the one and only? egypt’s anwar sadat was shot by a soldier on parade ground, india’s indira gandhi was shot by her personal body guard while walking on palatial ground; sabi, killing ought to go all the way and make superhero of the one and only, finally given the sleep so craved and deserved, lifelike bantayogs build to commemorate superhero’s all time greatness, then mourned by the whole nation and given the en grande burial never seen before, grabbing the piece of earth next to forever idol, makoy.

      haha, suntory makes my stupid mind wander, hic.

      I’ll be sober again after a cup of very strong black coffee, utterly, utterly.

  9. “Messenger RNA is a very known molecule, it’s actually the first molecule of life” Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech says the Covid vaccine is the “first messenger RNA drug” but adds “every human being, every animal has messenger RNA in their cells” – Prof. Dr. Ugur Sahin, BioNTech CEO, explains the science behind the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine in under 3 minutes in simplest terms.

  10. Karl Garcia says:

    Heydarian says Duterte will tighten screws.
    If it is the screws in his head, I think he needs a special screw driver to do that, but he could again make a drama of the VFA.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Watch-Duterte-tighten-the-screws-when-Biden-takes-over

    • Biden won’t stand for it, I imagine. He thinks hard, clear thoughts. But we’ll see.

      • Simple. The US can simply not let the troops “visit” rendering said VFA moot.

        These are the scenarios envisioned, vis a vis EABO and US Marines:

        http://cimsec.org/dont-give-up-the-ship/46755

        “EAB Mavulis Island. 98 km from Taiwan.

        With their boats hidden under signature dampening blankets and the Marines out of sight in the small structure abandoned by the Philippine military at the start of hostilities, Stephanie knew she should have felt confident in their concealment.13 Out of sight, out of mind, she told herself. But a lingering doubt nagged at her gut.

        Sitting in an old fishing hut, she was passing the time by playing a game of Go on a small, portable nine-by-nine square board against Wickem. She looked at the black and white stones, mulled her strategy of laying the pieces to keep her black stones connected while simultaneously encircling Wickem’s white stones.

        This is how it all fits together, she thought. EAB-hosted precision fires and mine warfare. Sea denial is a game of Go.”
        =============================================

        Ergo, the only time VFA would come to play is when Mango Ave., Olongapo, Angeles, and EDSA entertainment complex, etc. etc. essentially when US troops come in contact with locals,

        so why not restrict US troops to their bases, small EABOs, rotate them for sanity, and keep ’em away from locals.

        • Yes, from the American perspective, it is a big shrug. Walk away. From the Philippine perspective, why leave the nation without quick access bu US troops, for whatever reason? The VFA protects Filipinos. Why tear it up? Which is why the withdrawal has been deferred twice.

          • No, I’m saying from a military perspective, if no ideal VFA, then do what the military does say in Afghanistan , etc. Keep the troops inside, and not party it up. That short story is one of many being explored now, as to what Marine Corps EABO will look like, legally, logistically, etc.

            Yes, you can keep ’em (American troops) on ship or small islands w/out having to interact with locals. And still be there in the area w/out the ideal VFA , Joe.

            • I don’t think they can be on bases without VFA, unless EDCA gives that authority. But it is much ado about nothing. The Philippines is largely irrelevant to the Asian military scene because she chooses not to be.

              • Everything’s negotiable, Joe. That’s the point with VFA. In a way, I’m arguing the relevance of the Philippines here, yes I agree w/ you the Philippine military is irrelevant. But

                I’m saying, the US needs the Philippines in this new EABO concept than not (but EABO is more US Navy strategy).

                Thus American military will bend over backwards, with whatever Philippine demand. Filipinos never really know their worth, because much of leadership (until DU30) never really questioned their worth vis a vis American policy (especially w/ China).

                I quoted the Go metaphor above from the sci-fi mil futurist short story, the Marine officer that wrote it is wrong, he forgets to mention tenuki and sente; China geographically speaking, yes even as it relates to Taiwan, is solid right now.

                Meaning China is in SENTE (has advantage) geographically speaking, as such can respond with TENUKI (ignore), with any geographic move the US makes, EABO or not EABO, China’s already got the South China sea. Period.

                China will soon flood the US with EV cars. They’ll get to the moon, then be first to mine asteroids. The US cannot respond with war, because its now scared of China. China doesn’t have to respond with war. They’ll focus on getting theirs.

                All the US really has is talent, quality vs quantity is the game.

                So much like the Cold War, quality vs. quantity . The US won pretty much because of Hollywood (read propaganda). And the fact that economically speaking ours was a superior system. But with Web 3.0 coming blockchain crypto etc. same-same economically really,

                it all favors China now. So its a losing fight, but still all we really have is quality, that is talents. Creativity, innovation, thinking as individuals, etc. So it behooves the Philippines to recognize this, ask for more from the US (as equal partners, not as little brown brother status),

                And focus on quality acquisition, whatever that is. Maybe more student exchange program, but there’s more that smarter folks can come up with to bolster Philippine leverage with the big picture of talent generation. China has quantity, in and of itself is not bad at all, and is what’s leading them.

                Filipinos thanks to CDE folks, making lots of babies thanks to shoddy electricity 😉 , will have quantity sure, but then how to imbue Filipinos with talent. I dunno, but ask for more stuff from the US, Joe, is my point here. folks like Mar, MLQIII, etc. should be making a Christmas list.

                here’s a start:

              • What favors China is a more self-determined course than the US can gin up with its increasingly dysfunctional, bickering democracy where even defense is no longer a non-partisan effort, plus their willingness to break the law. They step on people, squash them like bugs. Philippine government is of the same mindset. VFA is not a material issue other than there are still a few in the Philippines who believe self determination is better than being squashed. Most Filipinos don’t think about it, but like the US because it’s cool, like a superstar.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Hopefullly, he would not.Thanks

    • kasambahay says:

      deserving of a yantok siya, KarlG, not a special screw driver made in china, haha. a good poke in the chest for a start and off his balance, off his perch, kissing the ground he so desecrated.

      taumbayan hit on the arm, on the foot, on the head with a yantok repeated one too many times amount to bludgeoning and blunt force trauma, when a short gentle tap on the shoulder will do. giving the onus to kapolisan is inviting trouble. some of them have bad temper coupled with short fuses, sick and tired of seeing too many people in our overly populated country.

      one gentle yantok tap on the shoulder and no more, a humanistic gesture and a kind word to remind taumbayan to social distance, pandemic is still around infecting and killing.

      where am I? ah screws, the ones for frankenstein. old tatay would probly go for a selfie with the most powerful man in the world; as well, old tatay been inviting putin to come to our country and still putin is no show.

      methink, it’s china that will tighten the screws, duterte can only do as told. but if duterte adapts magnitsky law and made it viable here in our country, biden will probly grant duterte a selfie, haha.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Meddyp naiba tayo. China subservience wont give you vaccines
        Look at Indonesia, they even sunk some Chinese boats but they got vaccines from China, we literally have to beg for leftovers.

        • kasambahay says:

          ah, sinovax, it’s apparent president xi has more respect for indonesia’s widodo. if given empty vials minus the vaccines ay tatanggapin din po yata ng tatay, takot yan sa china.

          and if china promises the vials be filled later, much much later, maybe the year after next, o maybe never, ay yayango lang din po ang old tatay.

          in the meantime, down payment muna, our country is expected to pay in advance: pay for vaccines that may not eventuate. like the road toll sa nlex, people are expected to pay for non existent toll service. mayor gatchalian got it right, no service, no pay. toll holiday!

          no vaccine, no pay. if sinovax cannot deliver in agreed time, our down payment is forfeit and not kept indefinitely. bigay uli sa atin.

          there are other drug firms our country can do business with.

  11. FDA’s Advisory Committee meeting on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – pretty long..

    • https://www.statnews.com/2020/12/10/tracking-the-fda-advisory-panel-meeting-on-the-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine/

      1:45 pm: Vaccine hesitancy was on full display during the one-hour open public hearing, as multiple speakers raised concerns about the safety of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the legitimacy of granting early authorization based on limited data.

      The skeptical comments, some of which veered uncomfortably close to dangerous conspiracy theories, underscore the challenge facing vaccine makers and public health officials in convincing Americans to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

      One speaker, who described herself as a mother of a child who she said was “injured” by routine childhood vaccinations, urged the FDA to disclose all the ingredients that go into the Covid vaccine, including “aborted fetal cells” — a false claim.

      Another speaker, a pediatrician from Florida who said he does not require his patients to get routine vaccines, highlighted potential safety risks that some people might experience if they get vaccinated.

      Several other speakers voiced concerns that the clinical trial conducted by Pfizer and BioNTech was rushed, or that certain participant groups, particularly people of color, were underrepresented in the clinical database. The 44,000-patient clinical trial enrolled a diverse patient population in terms of race and ethnicity, age, and underlying health conditions. About 26% of participants were identified as Latino and 10% as Black, with the study evenly split between men and women.

      To be clear, these panels are not meant to be coronations of clinical data without anyone asking appropriately probing questions. But these days, distinguishing healthy skepticism from damaging anti-vaccine tropes is increasingly difficult. The FDA wants to encourage transparency in the review process to enhance vaccine confidence, but by doing so, it also opens up the possibility of amplifying people with the opposite agenda.

      Sidney Wolfe, founder and senior advisor of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, gave testimony during the open public hearing, expressing his support for the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine. Wolfe is notorious for opposing almost every new drug that comes in front of the FDA, so his support shows that even perma-skeptics can be convinced that vaccine makers are doing something right.

      — Adam Feuerstein

        • Micha says:

          @Irineo

          Hold your horses. Proceed with caution. 95% effective may not mean what you think it means.

          https://neuburger.substack.com/p/95-effective-may-not-mean-what-you

        • kasambahay says:

          hi, Irineo, daghang salamat sa link.

          methink, FDA is used to answering all kinds of queries and questions, some more absurd than others and downright conspiratorial maybe courtesy of paid hacks? china and russia send their own hacks to stir things a bit and liven things up, haha. mobile and quick to the scene these people are, and quite vocal too. if these people are really serious, they can ask their own doctors who knew their full medical history and get further explanation. pero, iba talaga yang may wider audience, adoring, captive and attentive.

          anyhow, covid vaccine is not for babies and toddlers, not for pregnant women too, no data as of now. the vaccine is mainly for high risk people as front liners and the old. those not in the high risk group but want to be vaccinated can approach their private doctor and pay the fee.

          • https://twitter.com/DeeCMeyer/status/1337228359982571521 – also interesting:

            “The COVID19 vaccines made in CN are expensive. SinoPharm @$72.50 ($145) and SinoVac @$30. PH may be better off talking to India’s Serum Institute (@$13.20) and US J&J (@$10) if UK’s AstraZeneca (US$4) is not available.”

            “Cost of Covid 19 Vaccine per dose:

            1. Astra Zenica – $3-4
            2. Sputnik V – less than $10
            3. J&J – $10
            4. Novax – $16
            5. Pfizer – $19.50
            6. SinoVac – $30
            7. Moderna – $32-37

            Each vaccine will need two doses”

            https://scroll.in/article/979627/a-statistician-explains-what-does-90-efficacy-for-a-covid-19-vaccine-mean – re actual vaccine performance, that of course will be measured when it is deployed, as that article explains very well. The test results are a good indicator but not yet the final word. It is just like one can find side effects later – the side effects on the very allergic NHS employees as an example. That is why there are two years monitoring. Also health ministers like our Federal one in Germany warn against relaxing too much even if vaccination starts. Masks will continue, social distancing etc. – the only measure of success will be the test numbers. Still I am confident there will be improvement by the springtime.

            • kasambahay says:

              it’s wonderful talaga, the world comes up with emergency vaccine for pandemic. vaccines are very new and we’re all learning as we go.

              the routine, okay drill if you like, after vaccination, those vaccinated are told to stay at the clinic for around 10minutes more and within sight of nurses and doctors who maybe be rushed dahil busy, but they’ll give cursory glance to ensure those vaccinated are alright and breathing, and not dead on the floor.

              after 10 minutes and if nothing happened, the vaccinated can leave the premise, deemed sila as having no adverse side effects.

              the vaccine lays deep in the muscle and will be absorbed into the system in less than 30minutes maximum. the first 10 minutes is crucial, that’s when adverse side effects manifest. and since nurses and doctors are nearby, medical help can be given at once.

              after a day or two, sore arm is main problem.

              I was not overly worried about those 2 health workers that have anaphylactoid reaction, may epi-pen sila (self administered adrenaline you can carry in your pocket) as both have history of allergy. I’m presuming if they have accidental contact with allergens and have fit, or feel woozy, they can quickly self medicate with epi-pen.

              sa UK, out of the 10K vaccinated, 2health workers have adverse reaction, not bad result yan to my way of thinking.

              and like you, I’m also confident things can get better and we’ll all get over covid.

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