Ax Duque, Senator Ping prods on Duterte

Ax Duque, Senator Ping prods on Duterte

Senator Ping Lacson (Twitter)

By Junex Doronio

APPARENTLY DARING to sacrifice his possible presidential anointment for 2022, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Friday thrashed the proposal of some pro-administration congressmen to grant President Rodrigo Roa Duterte emergency powers to solve corruption at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, saying it would be better to fire Health Secretary Francisco Duque III who also serves as PhilHealth board chairman.

Lacson could not hide his utter dismay in the President’s “full trust and confidence” in Duque despite the clamor of several sectors to replace him.

“Emergency powers to reorganize Philhealth? Try real, honest-to-goodness, strong political will first. For a start, fire its ex-officio chairman,” Lacson said in a tweet.

The feisty senator explained in exasperation that no matter how good are the country’s economic managers but if the health department is below the level of incompetence in the middle of pandemic, “we will all sink before we can even start to swim.”

“Having said that, I couldn’t understand what amulet or magic potion Duque has as far as the President is concerned,” Lacson said.

He pointed out that Duque’s “failure” to do simple contact-tracing on the country’s first cases was further aggravated by his refusal to assume responsibility.

The senator noted that Duque had blamed other government agencies, when it was his responsibility to coordinate with them.

Recently resigned PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales and Duque are among those the Senate Committee of the Whole had recommended to be prosecuted for alleged involvement in corrupt practices at PhilHealth.

Duque assured that he would cooperate with the investigation and clear his name.

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