Tag: 2004 Elections

What Filipinos Deserve: A Corruption-Free PhilHealth, a Competent DOH Secretary

In 2004, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III was PhilHealth president when it illegally diverted P500 million in OWWA Medicare funds to buy PhilHealth cards bearing ex-President and then presidential candidate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s picture with the acronym GMA (Greater Medical Access) and GMA Para sa Masa, Para sa Lahat. The cards were distributed to areas where they knew they would lose against the late Fernando Poe Jr.

After her 2004 “victory,” Mrs. Arroyo rewarded PhilHealth president Duque with an appointment as DOH Secretary.

Fast forward to 2020, where under new PCEO Ricardo Morales – and Duque as ex-officio chairman – PhilHealth tried to collect premiums from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), notwithstanding their classification as a special sector. This amid a flawed if not perverted implementation of its Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) for health care institutions handling COVID-19 cases, gross overpricing in its procurement of IT equipment, and the doctoring of its financial statements.

The President’s trust and confidence notwithstanding, Filipinos don’t deserve a state health insurance that is so corrupt, made possible by officials entrusted with mandatory monthly deductions from hard-earned salaries of ordinary employees.

As for Sec. Duque, he has stayed too long in the DOH and PhilHealth in different capacities. He admitted in a public hearing that he has given his best but it wasn’t good enough.

More than public interest, public health is imperiled with Sec. Duque at the helm of DOH. Notwithstanding the trust and confidence reposed on him by the appointing authority, Filipinos deserve a good, competent, honest and capable DOH Secretary.

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PCSO Funds Also Funneled to ‘Run-Gloria-Run’ NGO

As early as 2003, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office had released funds to a non-government organization prodding then President Gloria Arroyo to run in the 2004 presidential election, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson disclosed Wednesday.  Continue reading “PCSO Funds Also Funneled to ‘Run-Gloria-Run’ NGO”

Lacson: I was Victim of Injustice, Not Spoiler

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson maintained Sunday he was a victim of injustice and unfair treatment, and not a spoiler, in the opposition’s political fortunes in the 2004 presidential and national elections.  Continue reading “Lacson: I was Victim of Injustice, Not Spoiler”

The Lighthouse that Brought Darkness

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues:

Today, I rise on a matter of personal and collective privilege.

Two years ago, the country was caught in a political maelstrom brought about by revelations arising from the voice tapes taken of a man and a woman, the identities of whom have since been laid public.

Continue reading “The Lighthouse that Brought Darkness”

We Have But ONE COUNTRY

Speech before the Rotary Club of Manila East

There are three things we Rotarians must not believe. One, when your delinquent tenant tells you that the check is in the mail. Second, when your fellow Rotarian tells you that he’s going home straight from a Rotary meeting. And three, when a politician guest speaker promises to deliver a short speech. My fellow Rotarians, don’t worry. My speech tonight won’t be very long.

I do not recall any previous invitation by the Rotary Club of Manila East and San Miguel. I will not ask why. But I will tell you why I am here tonight.

My main message is one and simple. Call it immutable and it is. We have but one country. All we need are very good leaders to inspire us.  Continue reading “We Have But ONE COUNTRY”

Be Not Afraid!

Speech delivered at The Manila Hotel

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” She has learned her lesson well. She has mastered the art and science of assuming the presidency without winning the elections. She does her role model proud. I hope she does not forget that her role model ended up being hanged by those he oppressed.

Fascists believe that through the use of state terror, propaganda and the intimidation of political rivals, you can disassemble the existing democratic government system.

We have seen Mrs. Arroyo toy around with this belief since her voice on a taped phone conversation became the country’s outrage, and her nightmare.  Continue reading “Be Not Afraid!”