The ANC Brief: Morales out


Posted at Aug 27 2020 05:01 AM

Did it seem like President Duterte took his sweet time in booting out controversial Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) president Ricardo Morales? Recall that Duterte had warned government officials he would fire them at the slightest “whiff” of corruption. Here are the stories making the headlines today:

PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales has resigned from his post, a move supposedly suggested by no less than President Duterte. Did it sound like he was fired? Senior Vice President Rodolfo Del Rosario Jr. also turned in his resignation.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the country has surpassed 200,000, having reached 100,000 in the same month. Meanwhile, the hotline of the National Center for Mental Health saw a huge spike in the number of calls to its hotline, including suicide-related calls, since the lockdown began.

Cause for concern
The president’s health is an issue of national concern. So when he said in his last public address that his Barrett’s esophagus condition was worsening and could lead to cancer, there should be a lot of cause for concern. His former aide Sen. Bong Go said Duterte has no serious illness. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the president is “fit and healthy” for his age.

Presidential consideration
President Duterte is said to be considering the recommendation to declare martial law in Sulu. But Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said there is no need for martial law.

Coming up
Dito Telecommunity just secured a 25-year franchise from Congress, strengthening its standing as the country’s third big telco. The Dennis Uy-led company says it is on track for commercial roll out by March 2021.