By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki
The Office of the Ombudsman is being urged to subpoena the statements of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN) and Personal Data Sheet (PDS) of Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Dr. Francisco Duque III and his brother, Social Security Commission (SSC) Chair Atty. Gonzalo T. Duque.
This came after the parents of 11 Dengvaxia victims filed a complaint against the two for graft, breach of conduct, and plunder complaint in relation to the reportedly irregular lease entered into by the Duque family’s corporation with Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
The complainants said in their motion for issuance of subpoena dated July 5 that the documents are needed “to determine whether they declared in their SALN the foregoing business interests that they have with Educational and Medical Development Corporation (EMDC)” and “if their appointment as Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors of PhilHealth are indicated in their respective PDS.”
The EDMC entered into a lease contract with PhilHealth amounting to P529,261.20 per month back in 2018. PhilHealth even made an advance security deposit of P1,105,500.
The complainants said the monthly lease was “exorbitant,” and more importantly, was in conflict of Dr. Duque’s position as DOH Secretary.
They added that Dr. Duque might reason that he was on leave when the lease contract was executed. However, this does not change the fact that Duque did not divest ownership of his stock interests.
Adding insult to injury, according to the complainants, was the fact that Dr. Duque “fails to provide medical assistance to our children.” Duque failed to extend any assistance whatsoever to the deceased Dengvaxia recipients and the living Dengvaxia victims.
“While PhilHealth funds are being dissipated and misappropriated to benefit respondents Duque as well as his immediate relatives, Dengvaxia victims and the poor Filipino people who cannot afford medical, diagnostic, and hospital expenses are being deprived of full coverage of PhilHealth funds in case of indigency,” the complaint stated.