SENATE President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is optimistic that President Rodrigo Duterte will change his mind on Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and eventually relieve him from his post once he reads the Senate committee of the Whole’s report on the controversies surrounding the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
“Ang ine-expect ko kapag nakita ng Pangulo ang punto namin, magbabago ang pananaw ng Pangulo,” Sotto said.
“Maaaring may tiwala pa rin siya, pero may mga bagay na dapat mong harapin, dahil ika nga labag sa batas eh,” he added.
The Senate Committee of the Whole recommended the filing of criminal and administrative charges against Duque, who also serves as chairman of the PhilHealth board.
Specifically, the committee is pushing for the filing of malversation against Duque and other top-ranking officials of the state health insurance agency over the alleged misuse of the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) funds and the overpriced information technology (IT) system project of PhilHealth.
Sotto reiterated that as chairman of the board, Duque is also responsible for the activities of all the agencies that are under his jurisdiction and should not be claiming he is not responsible for the actions of officers of PhilHealth.
“Hindi puwedeng excuse yun. Kapag ginamit mong excuse yun, you are pleading guilty to the Revised Penal Code Article 217 dahil negligence yun. Hindi pwede,” Sotto further said.