President Rodrigo Duterte’s advocacy to end corruption since his recent State of the Nation Address has just started. PCSO’s gaming operations were put to halt due to massive fraud, according to Duterte.
Is DOH Plagued With Corruption?
Today, the administration is all eyes on the Department of Health, which is identified as one of the government agencies plagued with corruption. Despite such challenge, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo insists that Duterte still trusts DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III. Issues arise that Duque’s firm bagged government contracts. Panelo declares,
“As far as I know the President still trusts Health Secretary Duque.”
No LOA Order From Duterte
In a DzRH interview, Panelo discloses that the president did not ask the DOH secretary to take a leave of absence at the height of the controversy. The conflict of interest lies in the reports that Duque’s family is involved in various government transactions.
Duque’s party is reported to have entered in a government contract to supply medicines to public hospitals. There is also a leasing agreement between the PhilHealth and Duque’s firm located in Pangasinan.
“He has responded to the questions on the issue of propriety so if there are complaints against him, an investigation will be undertaken and until such time that there is no definite finding of any act which is in violation of the law, the Secretary of Health still has the trusts and confidence of the President,”
Complaints Against Duque
Graft and plunder complaints are filed against Duque in Office of the Ombudsman. Panelo positively responds when asked if there is an ongoing investigation according to the allegations against the health chief.
“I’m sure. Because the President, when he receives any serious allegations, he does it.”
Lacson’s Timeline Analyzation
Meanwhile, Lacson in a privilege speech on Monday laid out his analyzations on the two alleged contracts entered by the government and Doctors Pharmaceutical Inc. (firm owned by Duque family). Lacson reiterates that the first contract between DPI and the government is awarded on July 24, 2017. The project started on September 13 and ends on November 13, 2017.
The second contract was awarded on December 2016, which ran for a year. Lacson adds,
“Take note that Sec. Duque was appointed DOH Secretary in October of 2017,”