Senator Bong Go on Tuesday (August 31) urged Senator Dick Gordon to inhibit from Senate hearings involving the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) due to his ties with the Philippine Red Cross.
In a privilege speech, Go said there’s conflict of interest in having Gordon investigate PhilHealth since he is also the chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, which has a memorandum of agreement with the state health insurer for COVID-19 testing.
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“Hindi ba may conflict of interest na isa sa iniimbestigahan mo ay ka-transaksyon ng organisasyong pinamumunuan mo? Nagtatanong lang po Mr. President,” Go said.
Gordon is chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which is currently conducting an investigation into the alleged deficiencies in the Department of Health’s spending of its COVID-19 funds. Philhealth is also part of the probe.
PhilHealth entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Red Cross last year for the COVID-19 testing of arriving overseas Filipino workers, frontline health and government workers, as well as those in government swabbing facilities.
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In October last year, the Philippine Red Cross threatened to stop the COVID-19 testing covered by PhilHealth due to the state health insurer’s failure to pay around P930 million.
Though Go didn’t name Gordon, he took a swipe at the senator for allegedly berating him over Philhealth’s failure to pay the Philippine Red Cross.
“Pinapagalitan mo, pati ako nadadamay tinatawagan mo, bakit hindi nababayaran? Ako kasamahan mo sa gobyerno, papagalitan mo kami ano namang kinalaman ko? Tulay lang po ako kung maaari, nagiging tulay lang po ako sa Executive para mapabilis po ang lahat ng proseso,” he said.
Go said the Philippine Red Cross’ demand for advance payment for its agreement with the PhilHealth was “disadvantageous” to the government.
For his part, Gordon called Go out for his failure to “defend” the Senate against President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades.
In a speech last week, Duterte said the Senate investigations lead to nowhere and were just venues for grandstanding by some senators.
“’Di ba dapat sabihin mo Mr. President, senador ako d’yan, magagalit mga kasama ko… Pwede naman atakihin ang Senado, pero ‘wag naman sabihin ‘wag niyong pakinggan ang Senado,” Gordon said in an online interview.
Gordon maintained that several people in the administration owe their appointment to Go.
“Bong Go cannot say he doesn’t know them. Bong Go knows them. This is not the first time, because alam nating lahat sila may commonality na nag-kampanya kay President Duterte,” he said.