2 congressmen who died after stem cell therapy named

Posted at 06/24/2013 8:21 PM | Updated as of 06/24/2013 8:28 PM

MANILA - House Speaker Sonny Belmonte said 2 congressmen died after having stem cell therapy overseas.

These are congressmen Erico Aumentado and Pedro Romualdo.

Erico Aumentado and Pedro Romualdo, Composite Photo

Belmonte, however, clarified that it has not been established whether stem cell therapy was the cause of death.

Belmonte said that after having stem cell therapy, the 2 felt rejuvenated and may have exerted themselves during the last election campaign.

Belmonte said Aumentado even started walking around without a cane.

Aumentado' son Aristotle, a first-term congressman, was introduced by Belmonte to media during the sidelines of the executive course the lower House sponsored for neophytes.

Aristotle said his father died of pneumonia. He added there is also no proof that stem cell caused the death.

In fact, he said they were scheduled for another treatment after the elections had his father not died.

Aristotle said the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) has not approached them for the PMA's investigation into the deaths of 3 politicians who died after receiving stem cell therapy abroad.

Aristotle explained that his father had leg thrombosis for which he had to undergo bifemoral bypass and stem cell therapy .

After stem cell therapy, his father started walking without a cane, and sometimes had low-blood sugar. However, he said they forgot to get him stem cell treatment for his father's pneumonia, which he had before the stem cell treatment in Germany last September.

Aristotle said they have no regrets about the therapy, and he doesn't see the need for a PMA investigation. They have no complaints, but he doesn't want to comment on the PMA's statements.

The PMA earlier said it is investigating the deaths of 3 politicians who died allegedly after undergoing stem cell treatment in Germany.

While the association refused to divulge identities of the politicians, PMA president Dr. Leo Olarte said the three held notable posts in the country.

"Sila ay nabigyan ng mga stem cell na galing sa tupa, rabbit at mga embryonic stem cell at mga stem cell na galing din sa aborted na mga bata o fetuses. Nagkaroon sila ng kumplikasyon pagbalik dito,” he said.

He added: "Nagkaroon sila ng late hypersensitivity graft-host reaction. Dito na sila sa Pilipinas namatay."

Olarte said they already approached the families of the victims to get more details but some of them refused to cooperate causing a little delay in the investigation.

Saying that stem cells harvested from animals are dangerous, the PMA urged Filipinos not to go abroad for this kind of stem cell therapy treatment.