The head of PhilHealth must be a member of its Board of Trustees.
When President Rodrigo Duterte appointed lawyer Dante Gierran as president and chief executive officer of PhilHealth, I wondered whether Gierran was qualified. This is a post that requires expertise in public health. In fact, Gierran admitted publicly that he did not know anything about public health.
I decided to delve deeper and asked my nephew, former Duterte corporate counsel Philip Jurado, to furnish me with the facts.
Under Section 14 of Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act, upon the recommendation of PhilHealth’s Board of Trustees, the president shall appoint the president and CEO of the agency from the Board’s non-ex-oficio members.
This means that the President cannot appoint Gierran unless he is a member of the Board of Trustees. This sounds clear enough to me.
Another question – What are the legal requirements before Gierran can be appointed as a member of the Board of Trustees of PhilHealth?
Section 15 of RA 10149 or the GOCC Governance Act of 2011 mandates that directors shall be appointed by the President from the shortlist prepared by the Governance Commission for Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations.
So for Gierran to be appointed as a member of the Board of Trustees of PhilHealth, he must first have been included in the shortlist of the GCG, submitted to the President. This means that the president could not have legally appointed Gierran to his post.
Take note, too, that before the GCG can include your name in its shortlist, it will have to assess whether you are indeed qualified to hold the office. It’s a long process, Santa Banana! Afterward, the three permanent commissioners and the two ex-oficio members would vote whether or not to include you in the shortlist!
The GCG is akin to the Judicial and Bar Council.
So, the answer to the nagging question in connection with the appointment of Gierran, it depends on whether or not he was shortlisted by the GCG in the first place. If he was not, then his appointment is illegal, my gulay!
The position of presidential spokesman Harry Roque now hangs in the balance. Does he or does he not have “delicadeza”?
Long ago, Roque was an outstanding lawyer fighting for the underprivileged and the powerless. He was a law professor and fought for those whose human rights had been trampled upon.
How can we forget his passionate service to the family of Jennifer Laude, the transgender woman killed by Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton? Pemberton strangled Laude and dunked her head into the toilet bowl until she drowned.
Pemberton was found guilty by the Olongapo Regional Trial Court. He was given a sentence of between six and 10 years. But Pemberton, being a marine who came here under the Visiting Forces Agreement, was not jailed at the national penitentiary. Instead he was put in a stockade at Camp Aguinaldo.
Pemberton paid civil liabilities of more than P4 million.
When the Olongapo court decided to release him, saying he had served enough time if you factor in his Good Conduct Time Allowance, there was outrage among Filipinos. It was judicial overreach, Roque said.
But to everybody’s surprise, President Duterte granted Pemberton absolute pardon, saying that the soldier had been treated unfairly. Even Pemberton’s lawyer was surprised.
Any self-respecting person would have resigned immediately. But not Roque, who clings to his job. I believe that a spokesman has to be credible, respected and admired.
Expectedly, now comes Vice President Leni Robredo in her obvious effort to stay relevant in pursuit of her presidential ambition. She claims that the absolute pardon granted by Duterte to Pemberton was not fair to other convicts.
In other words, Robredo is questioning the prerogative of the President.
Fair or not, a President enjoys the discretion of granting pardon.
Some may agree with Robredo, but I think she is always finding fault in what Mr. Duterte does. Can she not wait?
The government’s decision to ban home quarantine for patients of COVID-19 is just proper. We can never be sure if people are following protocol