MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Saturday said that the Duterte administration remains tough on its campaign against corruption and is open to investigations, which proves its bid for transparency in government.
Secretary Andanar was referring to the motu propio investigations of the House of Representatives and the Senate in the past week regarding the alleged overpricing of purchased Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical frontliners last year.
“The national government accepted, welcomed the investigation which affected our COVID-19 response in a way that we proved that there is transparency. Because of the Senate and Congressional investigations, we have proven that democracy is working,” he said in an interview.
“It has become an avenue for the Duterte administration to show to the legislature and to the people that we have continued to uphold our tough stance against all forms of corruption,” he added.
Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Michael Aguinaldo reiterated their agency’s clarification before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that there was no incident of overpricing on Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.’s transaction worth P8.68-billion of PPE and other medical supplies for the Department of Health (DoH).
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), who facilitated the said purchase, had also previously denied the allegations, stressing their efforts to support transparency rather than join in on the politicking.
Secretary Andanar said that the purchase of the medical supplies was ethical and necessary given that there was an urgent need to protect the medical frontliners who are directly managing patients who are positive with COVID-19.
“We are all aware that cases of COVID-19 was rising during that time and our healthcare workers were in dire need of protection,” he said.