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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

MANILA – Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair Richard Gordon thinks that a group within the Duterte administration are eyeing to replace embattled Health Sec. Francisco Duque III amid the inquiry initiated by the Ombudsman over the alleged anomalous purchase of medical equipment for COVID-19 response.

“Ang problema lang natin dito, kapag may mga ganyan [na imbestigasyon], mukhang may mga umaasinta sa puwesto. Lalo na ngayon, maraming pera ang Department of Health (DOH), marami ring pera ang PhilHealth, kaya siguro sinusundut-sundot ng iba ‘yan. ‘Yan lang naman ang haka-haka ko,” said Gordon in an interview with radio DZBB.

“Merong mga issues definitely. Nobody is perfect. Pero sa tingin ko, kapag ginagawa ‘yan, usually merong umaasinta doon sa position,” he added.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires last week announced that he created two teams tasked to look into the alleged irregularities in purchase of COVID-19 testing kits, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical gears for the government’s response in the current health crisis.

At least 15 senators from the majority bloc last April have signed Senate Resolution No. 362, and urged Duque to step down as DOH chief, citing “lack of foresight and inefficiency.”

Gordon didn’t sign the said resolution.

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