By Atty. Alexander A. Padilla
I have not read nor have I been furnished the report of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. But if reports are true, let me categorically state that the charges leveled against me for fund diversion is patently false, an outright lie.
The so-called 10.6B fund intended for payment of senior citizen’s premiums NEVER happened. No such funds were allocated in the 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA) or at anytime when I was then President/CEO of PhilHealth. It is IMPOSSIBLE TO DIVERT ANY FUNDS THAT DOESN’T EXIST. While PhilHealth may have requested at the time for the payment for the premiums of senior citizens in order for it to augment its coffers, the request was never granted and the allocation never given.
There is no correlation as well to the P9.392B Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) for barangay health stations and the like. First, the amounts are different and next, the HFEP budget came from savings of unused personnel funds from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit Fund (MPBF), which was duly authorized by Congress in the 2015 GAA. Again, PhilHealth has nothing to do with HFEP as it is not in the business of funding infrastructure projects of DoH.
I think a simple perusal of the budget allocations for PhilHealth and DoH during those years would reveal these simple truths. Further, for even simple decency, observance of common courtesy and due process, I was never asked to appear, explain or comment on these baseless allegations at anytime in the entire duration of this investigation.
It is indeed unfortunate that political grandstanding in our country has sunk to an all time low where lies are passed off as truth and facts exchanged for fiction. I am certainly innocent of these malicious accusations and intend to prove the same at anytime, any place and at whatever forum.
*Atty. Alexander A. Padilla is one of the brilliant lawyers in the country today. He graduated from the College of Law of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. While at the UPLaw he became classmate of our very own Atty. Nasser Marohomsalic, one of the Board of Editors of Philippine Muslim Today.
Atty. Padilla became a member of the Philippine Bar in 1981 and from thereon had occupied several high positions in government.
His latest position was from 2013 to 2016 when he became the President/CEO of the PhilHealth.
Then he became also the Peace Panel Chairperson in the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) from 2010-2013.
Prior to his involvement in peace process negotiating with the National Democratic Front (NDF), he was also the Undersecretary of the Department of Health in the year 2001-2010. He also served as Special Prosecutor at the Office of the Ombudsman from 2001-2003.
He once worked with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as Undersecretary from 1999-2001.
Of course prior to working in the government in several capacities, he was involved in private law practice upon passing the Bar Exam in 1981.
Now since it is the time of pandemic, Atty. Alex as what friends call him has stayed home most of the time and tried to hone his singing prowess. Thus he can be called also as a Singing Lawyer. – Editor