Sen. Bong Go on Tuesday, 31 August, rebuked Sen. Richard Gordon for joining investigations against the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) despite serving as chair of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
At the Senate session, Go noted that Gordon should inhibit from probes connected to PhilHealth due to “conflict of interest” after the PRC entered into a multi-million memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the state insurer in procuring Covid-19 test kits.
“Since it is a common knowledge that the chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is also the chairman of the PRC, which in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, entered into a multi-million MOA with PhilHealth,” Go said.
“Is it a conflict of interest if you are investigating the ones you had transactions with?” he asked.
Sen. Bong Go accuses Sen. Richard Gordon of conflict of interest when the Philippine Red Cross, of which Gordon is chairman, allegedly entered into a multi-million memorandum of agreement with PhilHealth in procuring Covid-19 test kits in 2020. pic.twitter.com/vi98Dmd8uJ
— Daily Tribune (@tribunephl) August 31, 2021
Go, a long-time aide of President Duterte, said it is “illegal” for the PRC to receive advance payment from PhilHealth.
Go is pertaining to the P100-million contract of the two agencies aimed to provide more affordable coronavirus tests for Filipinos.
The contract was scrutinized by the Department of Justice but concluded it could not give an opinion due to lack of facts “particularly on the completeness of the requirements and compliance with accounting and auditing rules and procedures.”
For his part, Gordon defended PRC and said he never signed the contract.
He also pointed out that the government first approached PRC for an agreement as it has the capability in augmenting the government’s mass testing program.
“More than anything, I want to defend the two institutions involved. I served one of it for 53 years and my mother for 63,” Gordon said.
“We are helping almost everyday. I am not bragging, but I want to stress that it was the government that requested to help us. You know I am not cruel to the government, that’s why we helped,” he added.