“Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, vice chairman of the Senate Committee of the Whole, is not the enemy of the State. Instead, the enemies are the corrupt officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).”
This was declared by Sen. Manny Pacquiao Thursday after Lacson has been at the receiving end of vicious troll attacks for revealing the sordid details of the multi-billion peso modus of some PhilHealth officials and their cohorts.
‘’Instead of attacking Lacson, administration supporters should even be thankful for his unrelenting crusade against corruption because he is an active partner of President Duterte in the fight to clean the government of irregularities,’’ Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao, an administration ally, said that Lacson and Duterte have the same enemy and these are the scalawags and misfits in government who continue to cause untold misery to all Filipinos.
The Senate Committee of the Whole resumes its third in-person and virtual public hearing on the PhilHealth mess Tuesday. Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III is the committee chairman.
Administration supporters should support Lacson because he is providing Duterte the unadulterated facts about what is really going on among some government offices such as PhilHealth, Pacquiao said.
Pacquaio said that Lacson had obviously conducted a meticulous research and investigation on the P15-billion PhilHealth anomaly and his revelations should not be taken as an attack against the President but a generous gesture to help him fulfill his promise to wipe out corruption in his administration.
“Huwag naman sanang masamain itong mga ginagawang pagbubuyag ni Sen. Lacson. He is just doing his job. Kami sa Senate, we are just exercising our oversight powers to protect our people from thieves posing as government officials,” Pacquiao said.
Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, is chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security.
Pacquiao said that dishonest government officials are expected to feed the President with the wrong information to save their skin and senators such as Lacson are duty-bound to show the hard facts to prompt appropriate government action.
“The Senate is investigating this PhilHealth anomaly, in aid of legislation, and can only recommend appropriate government action based on its findings. We are presenting the facts through witnesses and material evidence that may be presented and can recommend the filing of charges if needed. But in the end, it is the President who has the sole power to fire erring officials in his administration,” Pacquiao said.
“It is up to the President to appreciate the recommendations of the Senate and we would not take it as an offense if in the end he sees things differently. Basta kami sa Senate gagawin namin ang trabaho namin protektahan ang milyon-milyong miyembro ng PhilHealth,” Pacquiao said.