Press Release
October 12, 2021

Follow doctors' 'prescription': Drilon urges Duterte to heed doctors' plea

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon urged Malacanang to heed the call of the country's medical experts and former health secretaries "not to obstruct" the Blue Ribbon investigation into the anomalous transactions involving COVID-19 medical supplies.

"The whole nation is watching. I call on the executive to listen to the people and heed the call," Drilon stressed.

"May prescription na po ang mga doctor: let's follow the doctors' prescription and allow an unimpeded Senate investigation into the PS-DBM anomalous transactions," Drilon said.

"I laud and fully support the call of our frontline medical doctors. I thank the members of the medical profession for supporting our efforts in the Senate to ferret out the truth in the PS-DBM - Pharmally transactions," he added.

In issuing what they called a 'collective expression of indignation and a call to action', around 300 past and present members of the Philippine College of Physicians and other medical professionals called on the President "not to obstruct the testimony of material witnesses to any investigation."

Drilon noted that both the members of the legal community and the medical profession have voiced out support for the Senate investigation and called out the President's directive.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines had earlier issued a statement urging the President to reconsider his order.

The President had earlier issued a memo prohibiting Cabinet officials from attending the Senate probe on the government's procurement of allegedly overpriced pandemic supplies last year from Pharmally.

Drilon had earlier called the order "unconstitutional" citing Supreme Court jurisprudence.

He cited, for instance, the Senate v. Ermita (G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006) where the Supreme Court ruled that when the inquiry in which Congress requires their appearance is in aid of legislation, the appearance is mandatory.

It was Drilon, as Senate President in 2005, that brought the case to the Supreme Court after then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued the controversial Executive Order 464 to prevent executive officials, cabinet members, and military officers from appearing before the Senate inquiry into the anomalous North Rail Project.

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