Filtered By: Topstories

Gordon defers presenting Blue Ribbon’s PhilHealth report: ‘I don’t want to divide Senate’

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairperson Richard Gordon on Monday deemed it best to postpone the presentation of the panel's findings on alleged corruption in PhilHealth from its investigation last year to give way to the passage of the Committee of the Whole's report.

"Inasmuch as there had been concerns about my submitting the report, even if I voted for the main committee report of the Committee of the Whole, I’ve decided not to make that report today," Gordon said.

"I don’t want to divide the Senate and I want to make sure that at the proper time I can present the report in a less charged manner," he added.

Gordon said the Committee of the Whole's report was scheduled for amendments on Monday's session and he doesn't want to distract his colleagues.

"I will temporarily refrain from making any report whatsoever that might be construed as colliding with the report. I know that there is no collision but I would like the work of the Senate President and all the members to be highlighted," he said.

"This is not a question of sinong mas magaling, sinong mas mataas. Para lang malaman natin na talagang may problema tayo sa PhilHealth and since nauna na kayo, fine," he added.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III thanked Gordon and said the latter's manifestation was greatly appreciated.

Last Wednesday, Gordon was ready to deliver his report from the Blue Ribbon Committee's probe on PhilHealth in 2019 but it did not push through as the report has not been officially filed.

He was apparently offended when Senator Panfilo Lacson reminded the body that he can only present the report on the floor if the majority of the panel members signed it.

It was not made clear on Monday whether the report has already gained enough signatures.

Under the draft report, Gordon recommended raps against former Health Secretary Janette Garin, former Budget Secretary Butch Abad, and former PhilHealth chief Alexander Padilla. It also urged the removal of PhilHealth regional vice presidents.

Sotto, who previously said Gordon's report might actually complement the latest findings on alleged PhilHealth irregularities, said the Senate will wait for the actions to be taken by Gordon regarding the report.

The Committee of the Whole's report, meanwhile, has been adopted—retaining the recommendation that former PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III should be sued, along with other executives and employees of the state health insurer. — BM, GMA News