Makati Medical Center joins health sector’s call to support Senate probe vs Pharmally

October 13, 2021 - 7:32 PM
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Senate Building
Undated photo of the Senate Building. (The STAR/Miguel De Guzman)

Makati Medical Center joined in the collective call of medical communities for President Rodrigo Duterte not to block the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee probe into Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.

Health reform advocate Tony Leachon, also a former consultant of the National Task Force against COVID-19, released this letter online on Wednesday, October 13.

It was then re-posted by the All UP Workers Union, a labor union of University of the Philippines workers, on its account.

In the letter, MMC medical community, its Board of Directors and Medical Staff Association expressed their support to their colleagues for taking their stand on the ongoing Senate inquiry involving the Department of Health, Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation and the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management.

Without mentioning Duterte’s name, they also expressed opposition to “any effort to obstruct” this investigation.

“We denounce any effort to obstruct due process that seeks to ferret the truth involving the alleged misuse and misappropriation of pandemic funds—in reality, every Filipino’s hard-earned money,” the letter read.

“We support all efforts to resolve this alleged pandemic malfeasance earnestly so that those who sought to enrich themselves while our healthcare workers confronted death and destitution will be meted the harshest punishment to the full extent of the law,” it added.

The MMC also referenced the “whiff of corruption” that Duterte used in his promise to rid the country of corruption as among his landmark promises in 2016.

“We deem unconscionable any attempt to amass ill-gotten wealth amid a pandemic. We find heartless any “whiff of corruption” by anyone who has been entrusted with the solemn duty of protecting the healthcare community,” they said.

They further stressed: “To remain quiet is acquiescence and subservience to avarice.”

Signatories of this letter include MMC Medical Director Saturnino P. Javier, MD, MMC Medical Staff Association President Jay Arnold F. Famado, MD and members of the hospital’s Board of Directors.

Last October 11, past and present local health leaders, more than 300 physicians and other medical societies released a letter titled: “A collection expression of indignation and a call to action from the members of the medical profession and the health sector.”

Signatories included the previous health secretaries Manuel Dayrit, Enrique Ona, Carmencita Reodica, Esperanza Cabral and Paulyn Jean Roseli-Ubial.

Leachon also shared an updated copy of this collective statement on Facebook.

In their statement, members of the health sector expressed their support to the investigation on the alleged anomalous use of pandemic funds.

Part of it read: “We support the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in its investigation to seek the truth and crush corruption that has severely crippled our society. Public office is a public trust. Public officials should be accountable to the people; they should serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; they should act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.”

Duterte previously signed a memorandum that prohibited current Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and other members of the Cabinet from attending the Senate hearings led by Sen. Richard Gordon, also a reelectionist in the coming elections.