Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chair Sen. Richard Gordon said he was not offended by President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark, calling PRC “mukhang pera.” However, he noted that the statement was “not really presidential,” advising Duterte to be more careful with his words.
“I’m not offended. I think the President should really be careful. Minsan hindi niya alam that the statement is not really presidential,” Gordon told reporters.
[Sometimes he doesn’t realize the statement is not really presidential.]
The “mukhang pera” (greedy for money) comment was uttered by the president while Health Secretary Francisco Duque III was reporting that the PRC has resumed COVID-19 swab testing after PhilHealth partially settled its P1.1-billion debt with the organization.
While Gordon does not harbor any ill feelings towards the President, he offered that Health Sec. Francisco Duque’s narrative could have given Duterte a wrong impression about what the PRC is doing.
“I think he (Duterte) was misled by the statement. The way the predicate was laid out by Sec. Duque was wrong… Sabi niya, ‘Nagtest na ulit nung binayaran,'” the senator said.
As of November 5, PhilHealth has already paid P700 million to the PRC, but has yet to settle some P377 million in debt.