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Duque dumepensa sa Senado: Hindi ako pabaya

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Binigyang-diin ni Health Sec. Francisco Duque III na wala itong nilabag na batas at mahusay na ginampanan ang kanyang tungkulin upang matugunan ang sari-saring alegasyon ng korapsyon sa Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

“I did not abandon nor was I negligent,” giit ni Duque.

Naglabas ng saloobin ang kalihim sa patuloy na pagpuna at pag-atake sa kanya ni Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.

Kinukuwestiyon ng lider ng Senado kung bakit hindi isinama sa rekomendasyon ng multi-agency task force na nagkalkal ng mga anomalya sa PhilHealth na kasuhan si Duque.

“I do not understand why the Senate President keeps harping on me when I have not committed any crime or violation of any law. That has been borne out in the Senate records courtesy of the Blue Ribbon Committee of Chairman Dick Gordon and even his bosom friend, Sen. Ping Lacson, who affirmed the same finding in the Senate President’s Committee of the Whole. Lacson even said in his recent press statement, ‘there may not be enough evidence to recommend criminal charges against Sec. Duque’,” pahayag ng kalihim.

“Yes, I am ex-officio chair of Philhealth but as mandated by the Universal Health Care law, I do not have voting rights and the Senate President should know that having passed that landmark law himself. Second, the Board is a collegial body, the chair does not control the Board so to say I abandoned my duties and was negligent are malicious. The problem with some legislators is they look for something to support their conclusions and start hitting at you in public. Is the Senate President now lawyer, judge and jury that if something does not suit him, he conjures things?” tanong ni Duque.

Si Duque ang tumatayong pinuno ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) na itinaguyod ng 27 ahensya ng gobyerno noong Enero 28, ngayong taon at kasalukuyang binubuo ng 34 tanggapan ng pamahalaan.

“There is a public health emergency and my priority was to deal with the pandemic. Is the Senate President saying that I should have focused more in Philhealth than build capacities, review the public health supply chain and logistics, put together policies and protocols, implement the National Action Plan, set up a data hub and the like? Am I being accused by the Senate President of focusing more on the pandemic? Is that wrong? Are saving lives not the priority, Mr. Senate President?” hirit ni Duque.

“Sen. Sotto, you are a family man so let me point this to you in clear and uncertain terms: my family is hurting already, I am sacrificing my health because of the demands of the job. I quietly do my job to the best of my ability but if I fall short, your way is to step on me and to continually hit me like a punching bag? Is this your brand of public service?” ayon pa sa kalihim.

Matatandaan na ang Task Force Philhealth sa pangunguna ng Department of Justice (DOJ) ay nagsumite ng kanilang findings kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte nitong Setyembre 14, ng kasalukuyang taon. Nakapaloob sa 177 pahinang ulat ang mga testimonya ng 14 testigo; mga report at summary ng iba’t ibang kaso kahit ang mga ito ay isinasailalim pa lamang sa imbestigasyon o inaantabayanan ang magiging resolusyon; mga dokumento na isinumite ng mga resource person; at mga ulat at rekomendasyon mula sa ibang sangay kabilang na ang Senado.

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