Ombudsman starts to investigate DOH Sec. Duque & other officials for COVID-19 response

Ombudsman starts to investigate DOH Sec. Duque & other officials for COVID-19 response

- The Office of the Ombudsman starts the investigation for Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and other Department of Health (DOH) officials over the COVID-19 response

- The Ombudsman will be looking into several issues including the delayed PPEs for medical frontliners

- The Palace has welcomed the investigation of the Ombudsman to Duque and other DOH officials

- Meanwhile, they are also asked to cooperate with the investigation and respect the orders of the Ombudsman

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The Office of the Ombudsman confirmed on Wednesday that an investigation will be starting to look into the possible inefficiency and irregularities of the Department of Health (DOH) officials, including Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, over the COVID-19 response.

KAMI learned that Ombudsman Samuel Martires ordered the probe to also look into the irregularities of getting personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical frontliners.

In a report by the Philippine Star, the Ombudsman tasked two investigating teams to probe the following concerns:

  • Delayed procurement of [Personal] Protective Equipment and other medial gears for healthcare workers
  • Alleged lapses and irregularities that led to the death of health workers and rising deaths and infections among medical frontliners
  • Inaction in the release and processing of compensation for healthcare workers who were severely ill with COVID-19 and who died
  • Confusing and delayed reporting of COVID-19 deaths and confirmed cases

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"I directed the creation of two more investigating teams who will jointly investigate alleged irregularities and anomalies committed by DOH officials and employees, including Health Secretary Francisco Duque, in relation to the response of the DOH during this pandemic,” Martires said.

Meanwhile, in a report by the Inquirer, the Palace welcomed the probe of the Ombudsman and asked Duque and other DOH officials to cooperate in the investigation.

“The Ombudsman, as we all know, is an independent constitutional body; thus, we will let the process run its course as we enjoin Secretary Duque and the entire DOH bureaucracy to cooperate with the investigation and respect the orders of the OMB,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

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As of posting time, there are 26,781 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines. Meanwhile, 6,552 of the patients have recovered and 19,126 are active cases.

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