Sa kanyang public address nitong Biyernes ng gabi, nilinaw ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte na ang ilang kagamitan na kailangan ng Department of Health (DOH) ay binili gamit ang pondo ng kanyang opisina. Ginawa daw ito ng Pangulo para bumilis ang proseso ng pagbili ng mga medical supplies.
Sinabihan din niya sina Senador Franklin Drilon at Ping Lacson na maghintay sa opisyal na ulat ukol sa isyu upang respetuhin ang opisina ng Presidente.
“Huwag kayong maniwala, ako na ang nagsasabi sa inyo. ‘Yung kay Secretary Duque, hindi ho totoo ‘yun. Ang bumili noon ay office of the President mismo. Sinadya ko yung para dumali. Tinanggal ko na doon kasi over worked na ang health department. Ginawa ko ‘yung para mabilis. Itong mga bidder na ito, who offered a lower price, never participated in the bidding. At noong natapos na (ang bidding) saka nagrereklamo and offering a lower price. Hoping that you would ignore the bidding and go for their lower price. Ito ‘yung mga gago na ito na when they were first approached, mahal. Ngayong may bidding ay ayaw sumuli. May I inform senator Drilon at Lacson and everybody na ganun ang nangyari. We will have a report coming your way and that is the stand of the Office of the President. Kami ang nag-utos niyan,” sabi ni Pangulong Duterte.
Magugunita na umalma si Senador Lacson at Drilon sa napaulat na overpriced na kagamitan na binili umano ng health department.
“There’s a pattern of overpricing. Not this time, we are in the middle of a crisis. We should not be distracting DOH and other government instrumentalities by conducting an investigation… But I think there should be a day of reckoning on all this… Seizing an opportunity out of a crisis is a good thing when you do it for country. For example when we know other locators or factories are relocating from China to other places in Asia, yan ang i-seize nating opportunity… At the end of the day, we see a pattern of overpricing. If it’s only one item then probably it’s been overlooked or they can reason out a different supplier or manufacturer. But it’s a pattern,” ani Sen. Lacson.
“Criminal act’“I will tell the PhilHealth straight: This is a criminal act… I am alarmed by a potential overpricing of PhilHealth’s testing packages. This could be a huge blow [to the government]… Clearly, there is potential overpayment of P4,150 for every test paid by PhilHealth. That is not right and that is unforgivable… That price tag of P8,150 is ridiculous. It reeks of corruption or negligence considering that the Philippine Red Cross and [private groups] have proven that they [can] conduct the test at half the price,” boladas naman ni Drilon.