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Palace on Pharmally hearings: Cabinet execs still willing to attend for transparency

By Nehmia Elyxa Relano

PHOTO: PCOO

MANILA, Philippines 一 For reasons of clarity, Malacañang on Monday announced that Cabinet members will continue to attend legislative hearings on the Pharmally issue despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement that he would legally bar them from attending.

In a Palace briefing, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque assured the public that officials, including Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, have no problem showing up at Senate probes after various business groups and universities called on public officials to cooperate on the ongoing investigation of allegedly overpriced procurement deals by the government.

“Ang sabi po sa akin kanina ni Secretary Duque, he does not mind going to Congress dahil wala naman po siyang itinatago,” he said.

“So while the Cabinet officials appreciate the concern of the President, eh sila naman po, for purposes of transparency, pupunta pa rin po sa Senado dahil wala naman pong tinatago,” he added.

Roque, on the other hand, slammed the government's ongoing investigations into its dealings with Pharmally, claiming that they are being conducted "in aid of election" instead of legislation.

Moreover, Roque said the President was frustrated by how much time Cabinet officials were wasting when they could be working on government measures to alleviate the current health crisis.