Shouldn’t Duque be suspended by now? — Poe

Sen. Grace Poe pointedly asked if Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque shouldn’t be suspended after the Commission on Audit’s (COA) recent report on the agency’s long list of deficiencies during the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing.

“Shouldn’t Sec. Duque be suspended by now if you’re going to apply the same judgment as what happened to the PhilHealth executives?” said Poe.

Poe pointed out that Ombudsman Samuel Martires ordered the preventive suspension of eight PhilHealth executives and five DOH officials last year for various offenses related to the use of people’s money during the pandemic.

“The fact that we can’t even go out of our homes—are we happy with what is happening? Are the medical frontliners happy with what is happening to them? Somebody must be held accountable,” stressed Poe.

In the 2020 Commission on Audit report, a total of P11.89 of funds remained unobligated on top of the P42.1 billion that was transferred to partner agencies without a memorandum of agreement.

“Ito po ay hindi lamang kapabayaan, ito po ay kriminal,” said Poe.