Senate commends Pacquiao for win vs Thurman

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2019   •   2161

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Tuesday adopted a resolution commending boxing legend Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao for his victory over Keith Thurman.

The adopted Senate Resolution No. 20 takes into consideration the resolutions filed by Senators Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr., Juan Miguel Zubiri, Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay and Richard Gordon.

Pacquiao clinched the World Boxing Association (WBA) World Welterweight title when he bested Thurman in their fight held in Las Vegas, Nevada last July 21.

The resolution said Pacquiao should be honored for bringing “immense pride and joy to Filipinos the world over with his accomplishments as a boxer.”

“Outside the area of boxing, Senator Pacquiao has excellently fulfilled his constitutional duties as a Senator of the Republic, faithfully performing his functions as an outstanding public servant,” it added.

In reply to the commendation, Pacquiao thanked his colleagues for their support.

He said his latest win showed he can still put up a good fight with someone who is 10 years his junior.

“The abilities and skills I have are given by God. I believe that ability, skill and responsibility has a purpose and that purpose is to inspire the Filipino people to rise above their limitations and overcome their circumstances,” Pacquiao said.

With this purpose in mind, the lawmaker said he will continue his boxing career.

“There are many who say that there won’t be another Manny Pacquiao. But I believe that we have many boxers who are just waiting for an opportunity, waiting for our help. It is high time for us to invest on our boxing talents who are loaded with potentials. The so-called diamond in the rough can just be around the corner,” he added.

He also called on his fellow senators to support the proposed creation of the Philippine Boxing and Combat Sports Commission, which he believes would pave the way for the Philippines to be known as the boxing and combat sports capital of Asia.

“I am ready to work with all of you in overcoming the challenges in the 18th Congress. Together as champions of the Filipino people, we shall emerge victorious and continue our fight for the country,” Pacquiao said.

Senate recommends forming committee to look into PhilHealth funds

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2020

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon is recommending the formation of a committee that will look into the funds of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

The Senator laments that even the Department of Finance cannot determine PhilHealth’s state in as fas as its budget is concerned due to the agency’s weak information system.

Drilon wants an Ad hoc committee composed of financial experts from the Social Security System (SSS), the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and other insurance corporations that will verify PhilHealth’s financial status.

This is to determine how much subsidy the agency can provide for next year.

One of PhilHealth’s officials previously revealed that the agency’s reserve funds will not be enough if the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues. The official also revealed the agency will only last until 2022 which was questioned by several lawmakers.

“How much really does it need in order to continue its operation? Is P71 billion the correct amount? Is it more? Is it less? This [the committee] will also give us the opportunity to review how much should be due to our health system in general,” Drilon said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III supports this recommendation. Sotto agrees that there is a need to review PhilHealth’s financial situation.

“We suggested yesterday that there should be an urgent and extensive review and inspection of the corporation’s financial life,” he said. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

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Senate probe will push through as PhilHealth chief requests for leave — Sotto

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 10, 2020

Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto assured that the probe on the alleged corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will push through amid the request of its president, Ricardo Morales, for a medical leave.

“It won’t stop our inquiry and other witnesses and testimonies from coming out. It won’t also stop the filing of charges against erring officials of PhilHealth if warranted,” he said.

Morales submitted his medical certificate stating that he cannot physically attend the Senate hearing due to his medical condition.

Meanwhile, the PhilHealth official lamented his privacy was not respected after his medical certificate was leaked to the public.

“As president and chief executive, it is my duty to represent the corporation while still physically capable. I regret that my privacy was not respected,” he said in a statement.

PhilHealth Executive Vice President and COO Arnel De Jesus also advised the Senate his inability to attend the said hearing due to a medical emergency. The Senate inquiry is scheduled for Tuesday (August 11).

Meanwhile, members of the Department of Information and Communications Technology will also attend the hearing to shed light on the issue of the alleged overpriced IT System budget of PhilHealth.

Sotto has also recommended putting the witnesses under the protection program of the Department of Justice. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

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Senate probe on PhilHealth issues to push through despite 2-week lockdown — Sotto

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2020

Senate President Vicente Sotto III

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday said that the scheduled investigation into allegations of “widespread corruption” in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will still push through despite a possible lockdown of the Senate building.

The Senate is set to convene as a Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, August 4 to delve into reports of alleged corruption in PhilHealth.

“Hearings will not be covered by our ‘ECQ’. Tuloy [ang] PhilHealth [probe] tomorrow,” Sotto said in a message to reporters.

Earlier, sources said that the Senate will be placed on a two-week lockdown in support of the medical workers’ plea for timeout.

The Senate leader said the hearing will be conducted in a “hybrid” setup, which means that senators’ physical and virtual attendance will be acknowledged.

Resource persons invited to the hearing, however, will be required to physically appear in the Senate.

Among those invited to face in the probe is PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales.

“We seek to get the answers to the questions of how and where these funds were spent. The important thing, the bottom line is we need to amend the law. Apparently, we need to amend the law creating PhilHealth to prevent similar occurrences in the future,” Sotto said.

Also invited to the hearing are PhilHealth Board Member Alejandro Cabading, former Head Executive Assistant Estrobal Laborte, and resigned Atty. Thorsson Montes Kieth, who claimed there is widespread corruption in the agency. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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