Docs to Duterte: Senate probe on Pharmally must continue

    President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to obstruct the Senate investigation into the multibillion-peso pandemic supply deals has outraged the country’s leading doctors, who are urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate the alleged anomalous transactions entered by the government.
    They also urged the Senate to “get to the truth behind the alleged corruption” as quickly as possible and to submit any cases with the Department of Justice or the Ombudsman.

    MANILA — Nearly 70 current and past officials of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) and medical societies have issued their “collective expression of indignation and a call to action,” as shown in more than 300 signatures they have gathered from other doctors.

    Four past chiefs of the Department of Health (DoH) are on the list to demonstrate support for their efforts to guarantee there are no attempts to ‘whitewash’ the situation or prevent the truth from being revealed.

    Officials from the PCP, who conducted a virtual press conference yesterday, said they expect an increasing number of doctors, physicians, and even medical practitioners and frontline health workers to join their efforts to learn the truth.

    “We call on the President not to obstruct the testimony of material witnesses to any investigation,” former PCP president Dr. Norbert Lingling Uy appeals in a statement.

    “We ask the President to reciprocate the risks and hard work of our healthcare workers by ordering all Government personnel to divulge the truth, to undergo questioning by lawmakers. It is only right that the Office of the President should make sure there is no corruption.”

    The doctors urged all government officials not to obstruct the Senate probe, but rather to assist it by testifying in order to learn why Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation was awarded an ₱8 billion deal.

    They would oppose any “attempts to withhold testimonies and cover up what really happened.”

    “The Philippine College of Physicians, its past presidents, and the other people who signed this statement think that the President is actually obstructing the investigation,” Cabral said.

    PCP president Maricar Limpin said that the doctors have banded together to express their “frustration and anger” at the alleged corruption in the procurement of personal protective equipment while frontliners were risking their lives during the pandemic.

    “So long as we and the people do not know the truth, then the idea that there was corruption will always weigh down on the Government. We need to work but we cannot work, especially the health department, if we do not get the real answers from the DoH,” Limpin added. (TRC/The MiNT)

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