MALACANANG yesterday said it respects the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate the alleged irregularities in the Department of Health’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the country.
In a statement, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque asked Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and the entire DOH bureaucracy to “cooperate with the investigation and respect the orders” of the Ombudsman.
“The Ombudsman, as we all know, is an independent constitutional body; thus, we will let the process run its course,” Roque said.
Duque has welcomed the investigation, which covers the delayed procurement of personal protective equipment and other medical gears for healthcare workers, alleged lapses and irregularities that led to the death of medical workers and the rising number of deaths and infected medical frontliners.
The probe also includes the alleged inaction in the release of financial assistance to fallen and infected medical frontliners and the confusing and delayed reporting of COVID-19 related deaths and confirmed cases.
Duque has repeatedly resisted calls to quit his post over his handling of the public health emergency. Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte wanted Duque to stay put.