Resign out of 'delicadeza,' Duque told

Resign from your post, if you have a sliver of "delicadeza" (sense of propriety) left.

ACT-Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro

This was ACT-Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro's message Thursday to Department of Health (DoH) Secretary Francisco Duque III, who is currently grappling with massive corruption allegations at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on top of the spiraling cases of COVID-19.

"Ii-spare ba natin dito si Duque tsaka si (PhilHealth President Ricardo) Morales at iba pang mga executive? Sinabi na nga di ba, part of mafia si Secretary Duque (Are we going to spare Duque and Morales as well as the other executives at PhilHealth? Like what whistleblowers said, Secretary Duque is part of the mafia there)," she said in a virtual press conference of the Makabayan bloc.

"Kung mayroon delicadeza itong si Duque ay mag-resign na rin siya. Dahil command responsibility ito eh. Sakop mo ito eh, dapat alam mo nangyayari. Kaya dapat mag-resign si Morales at si Duque (If Duque has delicadeza then he should also resign. It's because of command responsibility. This is your jurisdiction, you should be aware of what's happening. That's why Morales and Duque should resign)," said Castro.

Duque, who sits as chairman of the board at PhilHealth, was recently tagged by resigned anti-fraud PhilHealth officer Thorrsson Keith as the godfather of the alleged mafia operating at the State-run health insurance firm.

Castro said Duque and Morales' voluntary exit from the troubled corporation would pave the way for a proper investigation by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

"They shouldn't be exempted," the militant solon said.

While the PhilHealth corruption mess continues to unravel, Ombudsman Samuel Martires has slapped 13 top PhilHealth officials with a six-month preventive suspension order without pay.

Deputy Minority Leader Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate welcomed this development, but said the Office of the Ombudsman could do more.

"Dapat tignan din ng Office of the Ombudsman ang malaking papel ng board of officers ng PhilHealth sa pangunguna mismo ni Secretary Duque (The Office of the Ombudsman should also look at the huge role of the PhilHealth board of officers headed by Secretary Duque)," he said.

"The buck stops with the board especially with Secretary Duque being the chairman of the board," Zarate added.