Durian candymaker should face sanctions – Agusan del Sur official
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The manufacturer of Wendy's Durian Candy must face an investigation and should be sanctioned for selling consumable products without the approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Agusan del Sur Vice Governor Santiago Cane Jr said.
Reacting to the apology issued by Janet Aquino, the manufacturer of the candy that downed 1,350 people – mostly school children – from 6 municipalities in Surigao del Sur, Cane said they "are not going to take this sitting down."
In a phone interview with Rappler on Sunday morning, July 12, Cane said: "sorry is not enough. When she owned having manufactured the candies, we held her liable for the mass poisoning. We are not going to take this sitting down, we will do something in our level. We just have to wait for the laboratory result which will be out Monday (July 13)."
Cane stressed "the owner and the ambulant vendors must be invited for questioning and they must explain the circumstances which led to mass poisoning."
If they don't have an FDA permit "the more that they must be penalized," Cane added.
Debbie Legaspi, supervisor of the FDA in Region XI, said the samples they collected from Wendy's will undergo laboratory examination and result will be out on Monday.
On Saturday, July 11, Aquino apologized, saying the candies were of good quality when they sent it to John Dequilla. Dequilla requested them to send the products to Tandag City on July 8, she said.
They are also open for investigation to clear their name, Aquino said.
It was also learned that the arrested vendors are members of the congregation of evangelist Apollo C. Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, based in Davao City.
The arrested vendors are: Junnil Martinez, 30; John Oben, 36; Joel Pasa, Richard Rivera Jr, 28; Martinez Bocaycay, 19; Genelyn Pasa; Junnel Teriote; John Dequilla; and Henryto Amoguis, 21. Except for Amoguis, all are residents of Davao City. Amoguis is a resident of Valencia, Bukidnon.
A white Mitsubishi L-300 FB Deluxe with license plates MEM366 which was also confiscated by authorities is registered under the name of Quiboloy.
Cane said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council convened last Saturday. "I think they (manufacturer) will be invited, including those who are members of that religious sect."
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte however said: "I don't think an established business would do it purposely. We should hear from pastor Quiboloy."
Duterte added that Quiboloy's involvement must be properly investigated "if it really involves his members."
The incident prompted the provincial government to strictly implement their local revenue code, which mandates that every ambulant vendor should secure a mayor's permit before doing any business in the locality.
Cane admitted the incident showed that they failed to implement their law which resulted to the massive poisoning: "Sa palagay ko (In my view), we failed in this regard." – Rappler.com