Almost 200 leaders and past presidents of various medical societies in the Philippines on Monday expressed their collective indignation over reported corruption over the Duterte administration’s Covid-19 response, and his attempt to stop the Senate probe on the matter.
“For love of country, our Philippines, we are affixing our signatures as an expression of our indignation, raising our voice to ensure that we are heard, and expressing our readiness to take a stand against whoever and whatever would dare frustrate the Filipinos’ call for good governance, and deprive them access to decent healthcare and the right to aspire for a healthy life! We are asserting the call to change and render accountable the people who are responsible for the abuse, misuse, and theft of the people’s money for their own benefit at the worst time when the citizens’ lives are at stake!,” they said in their collective statement.
Dr. Norbert Lingling Uy, past president of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCC), said President Rodrigo Duterte should not obstruct the probe on alleged corruption on the government’s Covid-19 response.
“We call on the president NOT to obstruct the testimony of material witnesses to any investigation,” he said.
Another past president of the PCC, Dr. Dante Morales, said the Senate should be allowed to complete its inquiry on alleged corruption on the government’s Covid-19 response, obviously referring to the probe by senators on the more than P8 billion contracts bagged by Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation for various Covid-19 protective equipment. Pharmally is being probed also because it only has a paid-in capital of P625,000.
“We call on the Senate to complete the inquiry swiftly and with the utmost diligence, to get to the truth behind the alleged corruption, then file a case before the Department of Justice or Ombudsman at the soonest possible time, he said.
The joint statement also criticized how the Duterte administration has so far responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, but allowed corruption and incompetence to proliferate despite many Filipinos suffering and dying from the virus.
“Instead, the global pandemic has brought to bear on the Filipino people not only the contagion of, and deaths from, Covid-19 but worse, the incompetence, insensitivity, and corruption of no less than those who are supposed to lead and protect them. Unmitigated and shameless greed is being flaunted to our faces!” they said.