Category: TV

On the Reported Shouting Match over Corruption at PhilHealth

Unabated corruption and mismanagement of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) funds has been a topic of discussion among Senate President Sotto and me, along with some senators from the majority bloc, for quite some time now.

But the reported shouting match in a recent virtual conference between the PhilHealth president and some board members involving almost P1 billion worth of questionable transactions, including a total overprice of P98 million – if true, says it all.

I am now drafting a resolution calling for a Senate Committee of the Whole inquiry. As expressed by SP Sotto to me last night, this inquiry will be one of the Senate’s top agenda after our session resumes on Monday.

That such corruption occurred amid the COVID-19 crisis makes it more disgusting and abominable. Nakakasuya na sobra. Needless to say, there is urgency that the Senate has to act on the matter immediately, as part of its oversight mandate, having passed the Universal Health Law.

When the Senate investigated issues surrounding PhilHealth and the Department of Health – including instances of conflict of interest involving the family of DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III with the family-owned Doctors Pharmaceuticals Inc. having contracts with the Department of Health, and the PhilHealth regional office renting a Duque-owned building; and with the Secretary’s pattern of failure prompting 14 of us in the Senate to file a resolution seeking his resignation – we had high hopes the shenanigans at PhilHealth would end with a new leadership. Sad to say, how wrong we were.

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QUOTES from DZBB/GNTV INTERVIEW:
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#PINGterview: Laging Handa Public Briefing: Anti-Terror Bill, National ID, GMRC Law

In an interview on PTV-4’s Laging Handa public briefing, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Why the Anti-Terrorism Bill is urgent [21:12]
* DOH leadership woes in dealing with COVID-19 threat [23:15]
* National ID’s value amid pandemic [24:56]
* Implementing the GMRC Law [28:03]

QUOTES and NOTES:
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#PINGterview: Kailangang Kailangan Natin ang Batas vs Malaking Banta ng Terorismo

In an interview on SMNI, Sen. Lacson answered questions on the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020:
* ATB compliant with the 1987 Constitution [0:17]
* powers of the Anti-Terrorism Council [7:13]
* upholding of human rights [13:48]
* need for a legal backbone vs the threat of terrorism [14:56]

QUOTES and NOTES:
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#PINGterviews: Anti-Terror Bill Gets Tough vs Terrorists, Tougher vs Abusive Implementation

In interviews on ANC and CNN Philippines, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* the Anti-Terrorism Bill
* reported ‘Ghost’ Facebook accounts

QUOTES and NOTES:
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#PINGterview: Pagtatama sa Patuloy na Disinformation vs Anti-Terror Bill

In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson sets the record straight on pieces of disinformation against the Anti-Terrorist Act of 2020 – including safeguards against possible abuse; and the role of the Anti-Terrorism Council.

QUOTES and NOTES:
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#PINGterview: Proteksyon ng Mamamayan, Pakay ng Anti-Terrorism Bill

In an interview on ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo, Sen. Lacson stressed the Anti-Terrorism Bill’s aim is to secure the state and protect the people from terrorist acts.

NOTES and QUOTES:
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#PINGterview: DOH Overpricing, NCRPO Chief Debold Sinas, Bayanihan Act Extension

In an interview on ANC, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* second wave of COVID? [0:21]
* pattern of overpricing at DOH [3:05]
* day of reckoning vs those behind overpricing [7:46]
* need for extension of Bayanihan Act [12:17]
* fate of NCRPO chief Debold Sinas [13:21]
* ABS-CBN franchise issue [16:50]

QUOTES and NOTES:
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#PINGterview: May Pondo sa Next Round ng Ayuda; Huwag Gutumin ang Pamilya Dahil sa Kapabayaan ni Mayor o ni Kap!

In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* sufficiency of funds for 2nd tranche of social amelioration [0:16]
* 18M beneficiary families should get 2 months’ amelioration [1:07]
* possible supplemental budget [13:02]
* delay of funds due to ‘incompetence’ of some mayors, barangay heads [18:11]
* alleged ‘doble presyo’ of PPEs purchased by DOH, and related issues [20:18]

NOTES and QUOTES:
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#PINGterview: ECQ Extension, Supplemental Budget vs COVID-19 Needed?

In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* possible supplemental budget to deal with COVID-19 [0:26]
* at least P989B unused from 2019 budget [2:40]
* local officials naipit sa Social Amelioration Program [17:39]
* DBM circular barring release of 35% of 2020 budget’s appropriations [19:45]
* lockdown until June? [24:17]

NOTES and QUOTES:
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#PINGterview: On the Senate Resolution Seeking Sec. Duque’s Resignation

In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson cited the reasons for Senate Resolution 362, which sought the resignation of DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III for his “failure of leadership, negligence, lack of foresight and inefficiency in the performance of his mandate as DOH Secretary, resulting in poor planning, delayed response, lack of transparency and misguided and flip-flopping policies and measures in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic that endangered and continues to endanger the lives of our health care professionals, other frontliners, and the Filipino people.”

NOTES and QUOTES:
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