MANILA—The House of Representatives has reconsidered its adoption of a committee report recommending charges against officials of the Department of Health over COVID-19 response.
During the plenary session Wednesday, lawmakers approved the motion by Manila Rep. John Marvin Yul Servo Nieto to reconsider the adoption of the findings and recommendations as contained in Committee Report 1393 on House Resolution 1711. The plenary then recommitted the report to the investigating committee, the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability.
The committee report was the product of an investigation launched by House Resolution 1711 on the policies and guidelines of the DOH and FDA for the registration, utilization, manufacture, distribution or sale of drug products for the coronavirus disease, including ivermectin.
In a subsequent text message to media, the chairperson of the investigating committee, House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability chair and Diwa Party List Rep. Michael Aglipay explained the reconsideration of the adoption of the committee report, which was adopted Tuesday.
“The House of Representatives has always followed the rule of law. And in the constitution enshrined the principle of due process. The resource persons remain such and cannot be respondents unless he was able to attend all hearings and defend himself. So with this, the committee will conduct further hearings or get the side of Sec. (Francisco) Duque since he was not able to attend those hearings. Then and only then we will be able to get the full picture," Aglipay said.
“Absent po kasi siya. We sent several letters. Nagalit din po mga member ng committee remember so I thought he was waiving his right to be heard by being absent. I was mistaken."
A copy of the committee report was released to media.
Among the recommendations of the committee report is the filing of a complaint for violations of Section 4, Republic Act no. 6713 and Section 38 Executive Order 292 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and the Administrative Code of 1987 respectively, against Duque and resigned Food and Drug Administration director general Eric Domingo.
Likewise, the recalled report recommends the filing of a complaint for violations of Sections 8 and 21 of RA No. 9485, as amended by RA No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act.