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P67 Billion Stolen? Duterte Says That's 'Pure Bullsh*t'

President defends Department of Health.
by Arianne Merez
Just now
Photo/s: Presidential Photo

For President Rodrigo Duterte, the idea that P67 billion in COVID funds of the Department of Health is "pure bullsh*t."

Duterte on Monday night defended the Department of Health's spending of COVID-19 pandemic funds after the Commission on Audit found "deficiencies" in the agency's handling of the money. The President said he would not let Health Sec. Francisco Duque III resign over the matter.

"To the issue of whether the money has been stolen, that is pure bullsh*t," the President said during a Cabinet meeting aired late Monday until early Tuesday.

"Many government worker na who were placed in a bad light because paglabas nitong COA audit ilagay itong mga deficiencies kagaya nitong P67.3 [billion], mga gano’n, ang labas niyan sa mga tao akala nawala. Nandiyan ‘yung pera," he said.


The DOH became the subject of controversy following the publication of the state auditors' 2020 report that flagged the department's failure to comply with regulations in its spending of P67 billion in pandemic funds. 

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The health department had said that all of the flagged issues by COA are "accounted for" and that officials of the agency were willing to cooperate with any investigation. The COA, in a rare clarification, later said that its report however did not allege corruption in the DOH.

Duterte instead chastised the COA for publishing its findings on the spending of different government agencies. It's the duty of the COA, as a constitutional body, to do so.

“Stop that flagging! Godd*mn it! You make a report, do not flag, and do not publish it because it will condemn the agency or the person that you are flagging," Duterte said.

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