Favoring business over public health
President Duterte is not only an inept administrator, he is also an enabler of corruption. He continues to defend Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on the misuse of funds amounting to P67 billion in the midst of the pandemic, when millions of people are enduring poor health services and fighting to survive COVID-19. More than 30,000 lives have been lost, including many health workers and frontliners, and we have had more than 2 million COVID-19 cases.
Now the Senate has uncovered and is investigating the outrageously overpriced procurement of face masks and shields that favored Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. with the biggest pandemic supply contracts awarded by the Duterte administration. Pharmally sold face masks at P27.72, while the same item was sold by other suppliers at P13.5, P16, and P17.50. Likewise, government planes were used to import the PPE from China while local manufacturers had to go through the normal procedure of delivering goods. We appear to have lost so much from this contract given to a favored business. The negotiated deals show how powerful exploiters in government posts can use their position to pillage the nation while the people suffer from poverty, hardship, and vulnerability.
Mr. Duterte’s anti-corruption rhetoric is like water overflowing from the sewage of a rotten bureaucracy. Our salvation as a nation is at stake, given a regime that does not show any interest in serving the people.
Corrupt officials must be made accountable. Mr. Duterte must be made accountable.
Kapatirang Simbahan Para Sa Bayan
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