Philippine physicians support Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing

Published October 19, 2021, 5:35 PM

by Mario Casayuran

‘’Let us all join hands and support the [Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s] search for truth.”

This was the call made by Dr. Encarnicita B. Limpin, president of the Philippine College of Physicians, after registering her opposition to an order of President Duterte to members of his Cabinet and other government men preventing them from appearing before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee chaired by Senator Richard J. Gordon.

“Nananawagan po kami sa lahat ng mga Pilipino, regardless po kung ano ang ating political affiliation dahil kailangan po natin magsama-sama dito para malaman natin ang katotohanan (We call on all Filipinos, regardless of political affiliations because we need to act as one to know the truth,’’ Limpin said in a statement given to the committee on its 12th hybrid hearing today (Tuesday, Oct. 19).

The Senate probe revolves around the alleged anomalous P11 billion transactions of Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp. and PS-DBM for the delivery of COVID-19 pandemic-related medical supplies.

In today’s hearing, Gordon said that ‘’it is clear and categorical to us that this grand conspiracy could never have happened without the imprimatur of the President. The President allowed his friends to bleed this nation’s coffers dry.

In a statement, Dr. Tony Leachon, past president of the Philippine College of Physicians 2014 -2015 said: ‘’Sinusuportahan namin ang Senate Blue Ribbon Committee sa kanilang imbestigasyon para matukoy ang katotohanan at maparusahan ang katiwaliang lubhang puminsala sa ating bayan (We support the Senate Blue Ribbon committee in its investigation to determine the truth and punish the guilty for widespread damage it has caused to our country).

Leachon stressed that ‘’public office is a public trust.’’

‘’Ang mga opisyal ng gobyero ay dapat managot sa mga tao; dapat silang magsilbi lagi’t lagi nang may kahanga-hangang responsibilidad, integridad, katapatan, at kahusayan; dapat silang kumilos nang may katapatan sa Bayan at hustisya, at mamuno nang may mapagkumbabang pamumuhay (Government officials are liable to the people; they are sworn to serve the people with integrity, truthfulness and competence towards the people and justice, and lead with modest lifestyle),’’ he said.

‘Ito aming inaasahan, kahit may labis, basta’t walang kulang sa Tamang moral values of a Filipino citizen (This is our wish, even if there are excesses, moral values of a Filipino citizen is upheld),’’ he added.

Dagling na mobilize namin Ang mga Past and present presidents ng mga medical societies.

Leachon said they cried when six former Department of Health (DOH) secretaries signed their open letter on the need for the Gordon committee to continue its probe unhindered.

The six former DOH secretaries were Esperanza Cabral, Manuel Dayrit ,Enrique Ona, Carmencita Reodica, .Paulyn Ubial and Jaime Galvez Tan.

In today’s hearing, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III wrote the Senate committee that he could not attend its hearing because of an order from President Duterte that government officials should give way to equally important COVID response activities.

Duque, however, said that he might ‘’submit any and all documents that might aid the committee over the course of its investigation in aid of legislation.’’