JUNE 19, 2019 — Senator Panfilo Lacson is digging up cases against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to disprove Duque’s claim of a clean record in government.
Lacson has found two cases. The first involves the leasing of a building owned by Duque’s family to PhilHealth.
Lacson said he has documents showing that Duque’s sister is a signatory to the contract for the PhilHealth Regional Office in Dagupan City.
“If this is not conflict of interest, I don’t know what is. Building mo, naka-contract of lease, and that is a family corporation na you are also a member of the board,” Lacson said.
The second case being pursued by Lacson involves hospital charges made to PhilHealth for patients who were already discharged. The Court of Appeals found wrongdoing by the Perpetual Succor Hospital of Cebu. But Duque used the quasi-judicial powers of Philhealth to overturn the court’s decision.
“Hindi naman kailangan maging lawyers tayo para malaman natin ang hierarchy of courts. A lower court cannot reverse the decision which in this case they themselves initiated,” Lacson said.
Lacson wants the investigation to happen in the incoming 18th Congress.
The senator had earlier asked Duque and board members of PhilHealth to resign over the WellMed dialysis “:ghost” treatments. Duque shot back by saying he has a clean record in his 35 years in government. That defense by the health secretary was what prompted Lacson to look into other cases involving Duque.
“Ako sobrang mapagbantay sa national budget because I always consider the national budget the lifeblood of our economy, if not the country itself. Tapos makarinig tayo ng P250 billion being squandered by these people,” Lacson said.