Unacceptable, unexplainable conduct

Principles only mean something when you stick to them when it's inconvenient. – The Contender

The ongoing investigation by Congress and the Department of Justice on the mud pool that is the corruption in Philippine Health Insurance Corp. has uncovered some uncomfortable truths, especially in light of the administration's pledge of squeaky-clean governance.  

Small wonder why defenders of the faith in Malacanang are swarming all over traditional and social media for a major counter-offensive to distract the public and divert the blame on this issue away from people favored by the powers-that-be. 

Recently, Ben Tulfo, a member of a band of brothers and unabashed   defender of President Duterte, stepped up attacks against Sen. Risa Hontiveros, even calling her a "malignant cancer" at one point.

Hontiveros, a former PhilHealth official during the previous administration, has been vocal against the inaction of Health Sec. Francisco Duque III and other officials not only on the corruption in PhilHealth, but also on the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.

One cannot help but feel Tulfo and his fellow self-styled presidential wrecking crew are trying to take the heat away from all the President’s  men at a point where public anger against PhilHealth and the DoH is at its peak, by dredging  up allegations long proven to be baseless.  

While Hontiveros may be disliked by the administration's armchair  warriors, the fact is she was cleared by both PhilHealth and the Commission on Audit from any act of irregularity during her time in PhilHealth.

There has been no pending criminal or administrative complaint against her in relation to PhilHealth funds since she left the agency in 2015.  

The oft-repeated accusation raised by Tulfo -- that of anomalous bonuses by PhilHealth officials -- happened in 2013, a year before Hontiveros was appointed to the agency.

Even the allegation of Hontiveros' use of PhilHealth materials for her political campaign advertisements are flatly untrue, since the PhilHealth itself said that no fund of the agency was ever used for such purposes. 

In short, the lady lawmaker is in the clear, something that cannot be remotely be said about the fellow.

Speaking of anomalies in funds and advertisements, the guy may even be the one who needs to do some explaining to the public about his ties to a controversy where millions of pesos in public funds were involved. 

Unlike Hontiveros, he faces a criminal case before the Office of the Ombudsman regarding a controversial P120-million advertisement deal between People's Television Network and Department of Tourism, where a sibling used to sit at the helm until she was unseated.

A 2017 Commission on Audit report had flagged how the DoT and PTV4 executed a P120-million contract for ad placements where P89.88 million went to Kilos Pronto, a block-time program produced by Tulfo’s Bitag Media.

The CoA questioned why such a large amount was spent for a non-primetime show with limited audience reach.

Tulfo has since been asked to return the funds for the ads, a gesture which he has reportedly flatly refused to do so. 

He has also come under fire for his comments generally considered to be tolerating sexual offenses against women, during an online spat with Frankie Pangilinan, the teenaged daughter of Sen. Kiko Pangilinan.   

I the heat of the feud, Tulfo said that women should mind how they dress to stop "inviting the beast" and avoid sexual crimes, quite an ungentlemanly utterance which earned him boundless criticism, especially from survivors of rape and sexual abuses. 

Given these, perhaps it  is Tulfo himself – not Hontiveros --who owes the public a detailed explanation for his outrageous acts, intolerable antics over the past few years.

It is always a good day to come clean. So, how about it?

Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.

Pause and pray, people.