Journalist Ellen Tordesillas has revealed that she benefited from the corruption-prone Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) when she had cancer.
Tordesillas made the disclosure Saturday (June 8) as she denied President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that she is suffering from cancer and is soliciting money for treatment.
“Wala na akong kanser. Matagal na akong gumaling sa sakit na kanser. Taong 2003 pa,” she said in a statement.
Tordesillas admitted that she sought financial help from people when she was battling cancer.
“May dalawang senador na kahit hindi ako humingi, sumulat sa Philippine General Hospital, kung saan ako nagpapagamot, at nagsabi i-credit sa kanilang Priority Development Assistance Fund ang aking bill sa kuarto. Walang cash na binigay sa akin,” she said.
Tordesillas, the president of the non-profit media organization VERA Files, said she also received money from two politikos for her treatment but she gave it to the Philippine General Hospital’s Medical Foundation.
The late publisher of Malaya Business Insight, Jake Macasaet, also helped foot the bill for her treatment, the journalist said.
Duterte asked the public to pray for Tordesillas’ recovery in a televised interview with Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in Davao City.
“Pray for her recovery. Sige kasi lang ‘yan hingi. Tapos walang recovery,” he said.
Duterte joked that he has his own prayer for the journalist, who had been implicated in an alleged destabilization plot.
“‘Yan si [Tordesillas?], Hesus, sige lang hingi kay may cancer siya. Hanggang ngayon buhay pa. Lord, ano ba ang desisyon mo diyan?” he said.