“Winawarak ninyo ang dangal ng Department of Health (You destroyed the honor of Department of Health)!”
This is what Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III told the Commission on Audit after becoming emotional and unable to hold back tears as he faced the House Committee on Public Accounts hearing regarding the Commission on Audit (COA) question of P67.32 billion deficiency in DOH pandemic funds.
Duque said the department does not squander funds, and they ensure compliance with the process.
The Secretary also assured that P67.32 billion has been used and continues to be used by the agency for the government’s COVID response.
Duque further revealed that despite the criticisms, the agency had made relentless sacrifices in responding to the pandemic, health workers’ needs, and even to COVID-19 patients.
“Mula no’ng Wednesday na lumabas po ito, hindi na po ako nakakatulog, ang mga kasama kong mga opisyal sa DOH, hindi na rin halos nakakatulog. Bakit ‘ka ninyo? Sa kahihiyan, we were bloodied and bludgeoned with this issue, and kung ganito nang ganito tayo, papaano tayo uunlad?” said Duque.
Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega clarified that they only lack the documents submitted to the COA, so they show a deficiency.
Duque cries during Chamber’s hearing on alleged DOH corruption
He said they are still completing the documents to be submitted to the COA.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte has no plans to accept the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque should he do so again.
In his Talk to the People, Duterte said that Duque has twice tried to resign.
“Alam ko gusto mo nang mag-resign, pero alam mo rin na tatanggihan kita ngayon. Noon you have attempted to resign twice. I expect you to say something to me after this, mag-resign ka. Sabihin ko sa iyo, hindi,” Duterte told Duque.
According to the President, the DOH chief is doing nothing, and if there are any missing funds in the DOH, complainants should go to the Supreme Court and file a lawsuit.