Duterte trusts Duque, waits for task force report
“The President still trusts Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, but let’s wait for the recommendation of the task force because… the President will respect it,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said in Filipino in an interview over state-run television network PTV yesterday.
Geremy Pintolo, Philstar
Duterte trusts Duque, waits for task force report
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - September 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang respects the recommendation of the Senate to indict Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, former Philippine Health Insurance Corp. president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales and other PhilHealth officials, but it is not enough for President Duterte to let go of the embattled health chief.

Since Duterte has tasked the Department of Justice to conduct its own probe into the alleged corruption in PhilHealth, presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said it is just proper for Malacañang to wait for the final recommendations of the special task force spearheaded by the DOJ.

Besides, Duque still enjoys the trust and confidence of the President, according to Roque.

“The President still trusts Secretary Duque, but let’s wait for the recommendation of the task force because… the President will respect it,” Roque said in Filipino in an interview over state-run television network PTV yesterday.

Last Tuesday, the Senate committee of the whole recommended the filing of criminal charges against Duque, who acts as PhilHealth’s chairman of board, and several others over what they described as “improper and illegal implementation of the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) or the cash advances to health care institutions.”

In a separate interview, chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte would leave no stones left unturned in the PhilHealth probe. Panelo agreed with Senate Blue Ribbon committee chairman Sen. Richard Gordon who has pinned down responsibility of the PhilHealth mess on former health secretary and incumbent Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin.

“(There will be) no whitewash here,” Panelo said.

In another TV interview, Roque said the Palace is waiting for the formal findings from the DOJ before it decides on the fate of concerned officials.

“Let’s just say that we respect the recommendation of the Senate as a co-equal body, but the President himself has created a task force to determine culpability of individuals and the President will have to await the formal findings of his own task force,” the presidential spokesman said.

“But as I said, the investigation in aid of legislation is always welcome; it is a recognized power of the Senate, and we respect their findings,” he added.

Roque, a lawyer, said the task force led by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra would also consider the Senate’s recommendations. –  Paolo Romero, Edu Punay, Delon Porcalla

FRANCISCO DUQUE III
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with