- He said that he had to express his frustrations as he’s already losing sleep because of it.
- Despite multiple calls for Duque’s resignation, President Duterte said that he fully trusts the Health secretary, and now is not the time for him to resign.
After dismissing his involvement with the issue, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III admitted that he is losing sleep as people kept linking him to the corruption allegations in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
He explained that he is frustrated with the Senate Committee of the Whole report.
During President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent state address, he questioned why he’s being tagged in the issue as malversation and graft and corruption were filed against him and other PhilHealth officials for the said questionable release of the agency’s funds through the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM).
“Actually nakakatawa ho, I have to express my frustrations. Eh ‘yung mga pumirma hindi sila ni-recommend for filing of the cases. ‘Yung hindi pumirma, ‘yun lang ang idinawit. Bakit naman gano’n?” Duque stated.
He then continued on expressing his feelings towards the allegations and said that it hurt him and he has been having a hard time sleeping because of it.
“Height of injustice, unfairness, and masakit po ‘yun. ‘Yung hindi ka pumirma, ikaw pa ‘yung idinadawit, ipinipilit na idawit. ‘Yun lang, Sir, ang hindi ko matanggap sa dibdib ko, ‘di ho ako nakakatulog ho dahil dito, Sir.”
On September 7, Senators repeated a call of the resignation of Duque as a part of their final report on their investigation of the PhilHealth alleged corruption. It also recommended his replacement as health secretary.
Senator Panfilo Lacson urged Duque to consider the call of 14 senators who earlier signed a resolution for the resignation of the secretary due to “failure of leadership, negligence, lack of foresight, inefficiency in the performance of his mandate, resulting in poor planning, delayed response, lack of transparency, and misguided policies in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.”
President Duterte expressed his sympathy for the Health chief and said that he has “full trust” in the latter.