Duterte not absolving Duque in PhilHealth mess — Palace | Inquirer News
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Duterte not absolving Duque in PhilHealth mess — Palace

/ 02:08 PM October 06, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is not absolving Health Secretary Francisco Duque III from the irregularities within the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), Malacañang said Tuesday.

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In a taped speech aired Monday night, Duterte again stood by the credibility of Duque, who serves as chair of the PhilHealth board, saying that he has yet to see a “good reason” to prosecute his Health chief over the illicit activities in the state health insurance firm.

READ: Duterte says he can’t find ‘good reason’ to sue Duque over PhilHealth mess

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But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Duterte’s stand may change if he will be presented with enough evidence that Duque is liable for the PhilHealth mess, citing as example the President’s stance toward former PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales.

“Kapag ikaw kasi ay abogado at hindi mo nakita ang ebidensya, you will go by your overall assessment. And right now ang overall assessment ni Presidente, full trust and confidence kay Sec. Duque,” Roque said in a televised Palace press briefing.

“Pero siyempre as a lawyer he’s also open minded to the fact na meron siyang binuong task force, meron po talagang kapangyarihang magimbestiga ang Senado at kung meron pong ebidensya, titignan ni Presidente ang ebidensya,” he added.

He went on: “By way of precedence, by way of Morales incident, wala po, hindi po niya inaabsolve, (o) dinidiscourage ang pag-iimbestiga dahil ‘yan nga po ang nangyari kay General Morales.”

Task Force PhilHealth has recommended the filing of graft charges against several officials of the state insurance firm including Morales.

Meanwhile, it only recommended “strong admonition” against Duque and other members of the PhilHealth board for “grave consequence” of their action or inaction on the state-run insurer’s funds.

But Senator Panfilo Lacson believed that the task force has found “enough evidence” to indict Duque.

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Lacson said Duque, resigned PhilHealth senior vice president Rodolfo del Rosario Jr., and the others could be included in the next batch of cases that the task force would recommend to the Office of the Ombudsman.

“In fact, (Senate President Sotto) has it on good information that the task force has enough evidence against the others not initially charged, specifically Secretary Duque,” Lacson told the Inquirer.

He said the “inside information” was given to the Senate President by a “trusted source” in the task force.

READ: Proof to indict Duque enough, says Lacson

JE

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TAGS: corruption, DoJ, Francisco Duque III, Philhealth, Philippines, Ricardo Morales, Rodrigo Duterte, Task Force PhilHealth
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