Rodrigo Duterte did not break any laws in transferring COVID funds

Former President Duterte Ordered Transfer of P47.6 Billion COVID Funds to PS-DBM – Duque

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Robinhood Padilla stated that no laws were violated when former President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the transfer of P47.6 billion in COVID-19 funds from the Department of Health (DOH) to the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) in 2020. This action was taken under emergency powers granted to deal with the crisis at the time.

Former Health Secretary Francisco Duque III revealed in a House committee meeting on appropriations that he transferred the funds to PS-DBM to purchase Covid supplies, following Duterte’s orders. This transfer included contracts with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., which had been accused of selling overpriced medical supplies like face masks and shields.

Padilla defended the government’s spending by stating that like other countries, the government had to borrow funds to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. He questioned the criticisms, asking if mudslinging was necessary during such a critical time for the nation.

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