Drilon questions inclusion of COA, CSC, Ombudsman in task force on PhilHealth mess
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Saturday questioned why Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit (COA) and the Civil Service Commission (COA) were included in the government task force formed to look into the corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
“Medyo nag-alangan lang ako dun is hindi pupwede isama ang Office of the Ombudsman, hindi pupwede isama ang COA, hindi pupwede isama ang Civil Service Commission. Bakit? Itong mga constitutional bodies na ito ay hindi sa ilalim ng Office of the President,” Drilon said in an interview over radio station DWIZ.
(I am wary of because you can’t include the Office of the Ombudsman, you can’t include the COA, you can’t include the Civil Service Commission. Why? These constitutional bodies are not under the Office of the President.)
Drilon added that the three agencies are “independent constitutional bodies.”
“At ang binuo ni Pangulong Duterte na committee na pinamumunuan ng DOJ [Department of Justice] ay magsusumite kay Presidente ng rekomendasyon,” Drilon said. “At ito namang tatlong constitutional bodies na ito, ayon sa ating Saligang Batas, they act independently of the President.”
(And the committee formed by President Duterte, and will be headed by the Department of Justice, will be submitting a recommendation to the President. These three constitutional bodies, according to our Constitution, they act independently of the President.)
Duterte ordered to create a task force that will look into the wide corruption allegations within the state health insurer.
The task force, named Task Force PhilHealth, will be headed by DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra, and will feature an inter-agency cooperation between the CSC, Office of the Ombudsman and COA.
But Drilon advised Guevarra not to oblige the three agencies to join the task force.
“Ang aking payo kay Sec. Menardo Guevarra, marunong naman ito, kasi nakalagay naman sa memorandum eh “may invite” COA, “may invite” Civil Service [Commission], “may invite” the Ombudsman, wag niyo na pong obligahin,” he said.
(My advice to Sec. Menardo Guevarra, I think he knows this, because the memorandum states that it “may invite the COA, “may invite” the Ombudsman, he shouldn’t obligate them.)
“Pwede humingi ng kanilang assistance pero ‘wag yung isali sa panel. Hindi sila pupwede mapasailalim sa Office of the President,” he added.
(They can ask for assistance, but they shouldn’t include them in the panel. They can’t be held under the Office of the President.)
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