DOH vouches for integrity of its officials included in Ombudsman suspension
MANILA, Philippines —The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday vouched for the integrity of nine officials who the Office of the Ombudsman suspended for the alleged anomalous procurement of COVID-19 supplies in 2020 and 2021.
“These officials have been with the agency for decades, and we continue to recognize their service, sacrifice, and commitment to the Filipino people,” said the DOH in a statement.
“While we commit to religiously comply with all procedures, the DOH vouches for the integrity of these officials, who have played significant roles in the country’s COVID-19 response,” it added.
To recall, the Ombudsman suspended a total of 33 officials, eight from the DOH and the rest from the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management.
Among the suspended Health officials were:
- Crispinita A. Valdez
- Amado Tandoc
- Lei Lanna Dancel
- Dave Tangcalagan
- Jhobert Bernal
- Kenneth Aristotle P. Punzalan
- Rose Marasigan
- Maria Carmela Reyes
The DOH then reiterated that the role of the DOH and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) were limited to providing technical inputs as end-users in procuring commodities for the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also clarified that the preventive suspension is not a penalty imposed on the officials but a procedure that is legally done to ease the investigation without the influence of the involved officials.
“Rest assured that the DOH will cooperate in the investigation and will continuously uphold all due processes as mandated by the Office of the Ombudsman and the Government of the Philippines,” the DOH said.
The health department then urged the public to “reserve judgment” and “keep an open mind” until the investigation has been completed.
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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