DOH chief wants to continue attending Senate hearings

DEPARTMENT of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said he will ask Malacañang's permission to continue attending the inquiry being conducted by the Senate blue ribbon committee on alleged misuse of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic response funds.

"I will write to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to ask for permission to attend the hearing and have it over and done with," Duque said in a television interview Friday, October 15, 2021.

He noted that he had been consistent in attending all hearings until President Rodrigo Duterte prohibited Cabinet officials from attending the Senate probe.

"Before the memo came out, the DOH has had 100 percent attendance in these hearings," said Duque.

He said he wants to continue attending in the spirit of transparency.

"In order to remove any suspicions and in the spirit of transparency, we want to attend and have the truth come out," he said.

In addition, Duque noted how the prohibition has a loophole as health officials will still have to face the senators during the ongoing budget hearings.

"We have these budget hearings anyway, so the senators can still ask us questions," said Duque.

Duterte issued the prohibition after accusing some senators of disrespecting the DOH officials and other resource persons at the ongoing inquiries. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)


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