Tag: Senate

Nasaan ang Kaluluwa ng mga Gumagawa Nito? Senate Hearing on Corruption at PhilHealth

Sen. Lacson’s Opening Statement at the Senate Committee of the Whole Hearing on Corruption at PhilHealth:

SP Sotto and I filed SRN 475, later co-authored by almost all the members of this present Senate, after a number of PhilHealth officials, both incumbent or recently resigned, sought our intervention to help them β€œdrain the swamp,” as American politicians would love to say when they see the need to root out corruption.

And for good reason. PhilHealth is a murky, stinking swamp that many of its good and well-meaning people from the officials to their rank-and-file employees want drained, not just of some corrupt but well-entrenched officials who do not seem to run out of malevolent schemes to enrich themselves, but of a deeply rooted, mafia-like syndicate that controls the resources of the corporation, and habitually manipulate its financial records, that even the COA seems helpless in the conduct of their regular audit.

If we look closely enough, the story only revolves around the same cast of characters – a circle of high-ranking officials who manage to hog their seats despite the change of leadership and detailed anomalies that we already unearthed in the past.

Continue reading “Nasaan ang Kaluluwa ng mga Gumagawa Nito? Senate Hearing on Corruption at PhilHealth”

On Corruption at PhilHealth: Mafia Back with a Vengeance

We have witnesses who are willing to testify and detail the pervasive and deep-rooted corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

At the outset, I can say that this new Senate investigation will reveal the same cast of characters, or at least a number of them, that we already exposed in a Senate inquiry in August last year after my β€œPhilHealth and the Department of Wealth” privilege speech on July 29, 2019.

I would say, the syndicate is back with a vengeance – or at least its core group has never left.

It is revolting to see the PhilHealth mafia very much active and still in control of the already depleted resources of the agency, made worse by blatant manipulation of its financial statements. They must have mastered the art of influence-peddling as they seem to continue to gain access to the β€œcorridors of power.”

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Opening of the Senate’s Second Regular Session in the 18th Congress

Amid the New Normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Lacson and colleagues mark the opening of the Second Regular Session of the 18th Congress. [Photos Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

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#PINGterview: Disinformation Drive vs Anti-Terror Bill; Fate of Bayanihan II Act | June 4, 2020

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Disinformation campaign vs Anti-Terror Bill
* Bayanihan Act II
* Safeguards vs Repeat of DOH ‘Overpricing’

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: Disinformation Drive vs Anti-Terror Bill; Fate of Bayanihan II Act | June 4, 2020”

#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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Seeking Clarifications on the PhilHealth’s COVID Tests

At the hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on the government’s response against COVID-19, Sen. Lacson relayed to the appropriate officials some questions from the public on the tests by PhilHealth and Philippine Red Cross. “We’re not finding fault here… Nang lumabas na 45% ng tests ang na-conduct ng Red Cross, maraming natuwa (kasi ang) impression na dumating sa kanila, libre. Mabuti at maliwanagan ang kababayan natin na may protocols na dapat sundin.”

For his part, PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales said they will publish guidelines to clarify the issue on who can qualify for free COVID-19 testing under PhilHealth, “so the public will be informed.”

#PINGterview: Mensahe sa Mga Pasaway sa Quarantine; Testing at Contact Tracing, Kulang Pa Rin!

In an interview on DZRH, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* post-ECQ scenarios [1:01]
* continued lack of testing, contact tracing [2:46]
* Senate teleconferencing due to COVID-19 [12:59]
* Pagcor allowing reopening of POGO [21:48]
* mensahe sa mga pasaway [28:21]

NOTES and QUOTES:
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Read: Senate Resolution 362, Calling for the Resignation of DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III

The resolution calls for the “immediate resignation of Sec. Duque 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.”

#PINGterview: Daily Wage Earners, Priority sa Tulong; Kukupit ng Tulong, Walang Karapatang Mabuhay!

In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson stressed the need for lawmakers to prioritize help for daily wage earners amid the COVID19-triggered lockdowns, while preventing corruption in the implementation of aid for those affected.

NOTES and QUOTES:
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#PINGterview: Extra Compensation for COVID-19 Front-Liners; Aid for Affected Areas

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on congressional actions to address the COVID-19 threat:
– Extra compensation, health insurance for front-liners
– Heavier penalties vs politicking during calamities
– Addressing economic impact of COVID-19 threat

QUOTES and NOTES:
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