Gordon cautions House vs planned probe of Octa


The Senate chief prober of government anomalies finds it as “absurd” a House proposal probe  into the Octa Research group’s study of the coronavirus.

Sen. Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accountability, also known as the Blue Ribbon Committee, is uneasy over the move to probe the research group of scientists, mathematicians, academicians and analysts that issue regular projections on Covid-19 cases.

The Senate chief prober reminded that “research is crucial in medical science” in order to effectively contain the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

Gordon added that all sectors of medical professionals and the academe play vital roles in the campaign to contain the contagion, which was why he was wondering on “why some House members are shooting the messenger.”

Last week, five congressmen filed House Resolution 2075, urging the Committee on Good Government to conduct an inquiry into Octa Research Philippines, an independent research group, on its qualification and research methodology after it was quoted by many mainstream media outlets as projecting a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The lawmakers sought the probe in order to allow the research group to enlighten lawmakers on its metholody in collecting data needed to determine if the projections released by Octa Research influenced the response of government and populace in the midst of the pandemic.

Octa fellows have in the past said they use strictly scientific methods and are making projections based solely on data. Their dire warnings have often been on the spot.

On their latest suggestion that a “circuit breaker” might be needed with a projected Delta-fueled surge in infections, Octa’s warnings have apparently not been shown to be misplaced or premature. As Octa Fellow, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco from UST, said in a tweet on Monday as he showed the surge in bed capacity utilization by patients requiring hospitalization, “Apparently, despite those who called us alarmists, the Delta surge is worse than what we had anticipated.”

Meanwhile, on Twitter, Dr. Tony Leachon, former Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious (IATF) adviser on Covid-19, said the Department of Health is the government agency that should undergo scrutiny for “lack of transparency in April cases of Delta variant cases; 3 deaths in May and June; late travel ban; non-inclusion in the July 26 State of the Nation Address of the looming problem, i.e., IATF announced on July 30 the planned August  6 to 20 enhanced community quarantine and failure of leadership.”

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