Ubial: My son travels with me but I paid for everything
Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Ubial has insisted that she used her personal money to pay for her son’s expenses during her official trips with him.
During Tuesday’s confirmation hearing by the Commission on Appointments (CA), Ubial was confronted with questions about her official travels where she tagged along her son, Karl.
“Yes, my son travels with me but I paid for everything,” Ubial told reporters even explaining that the DOH hired her son as a consultant from June to July 2016.
“Actually when I was designated secretary in June I didn’t have office staff to work with me. So my son went with me to all the functions and I had to have him parang produce an ID from the DOH. So he signed a contract, P1 consultant. He is without pay. He has a contract as a consultant of the DOH because we need an ID issued,” she added.
Ubial also said her son went with her to Malacañang, and the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) to attend some of the Cabinet meetings.
Karl, 22, is a freshman student of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) College of Medicine.
The CA panel asked Ubial to submit several documents to support her denials, including a detailed list of her foreign and domestic official travels.
Nevertheless, Ubial said she still feels “positive” despite the CA’s decision to defer the voting on her confirmation and amid corruption allegations thrown at her.
The CA has suspended the confirmation hearing due to lack of time for the questions being raised by Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III and the other members of the panel.
In an ambush interview after the hearing, Sotto said he was “not convinced” by Ubial’s answers to the allegations that she has been traveling a lot, with large entourage and with members of her family.
“Hindi (ako convinced) kasi karamihan dapat isagot kailangan may submit (na dokumento) so makokompleto yun pag ma-submit,” Sotto said.
(I am not convinced because most of her answers needed the submission of documents as proof so it would only be completed upon the submission of the documents.)
Responding to this, Ubial said she would instead continue to provide the panel with facts.
“I think many of the things he (Sotto) raised were exaggerated. So we’ll give them the facts,” Ubial told reporters.
“Well, I’m still positive that my record will speak for itself. Yun nga sabi ko (Like I said), the opposition is a dot of the mountainous accomplishments I’ve undertaken in the DOH showing my competence and performance,” she added.
Senator Gregorio Honasan II, head of the CA health panel, said they will schedule another hearing next week.
“Walang pressure dito (There’s no pressure here). It’s long but it’s a process required by law,” Honasan said. /kga
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