• PNoy hedges on Ona replacement


    President Benigno Aquino 3rd has not decided on the replacement of resigned Health Secretary Enrique Ona.

    Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the disclosure a day after the President accepted the resignation of Ona who is under probe of the National Bureau of Investigation for the alleged purchase of overpriced vaccines in 2012.

    The NBI said Ona authorized the purchase of P833 worth of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV)-10 which are used to immunize children against pneumonia.

    “The President has not yet decided on whom to appoint as the successor to Secretary Ona, so there’s status quo. This would mean that Acting Secretary Janette Garin will still be at the helm until any permanent appointment has been announced,” Lacierda told Radyo ng Bayan.

    It has been reported that Ona irritated the President because of his repeated request for P600-million funding for the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine and for prodding the President to assign two vehicles to him.

    The Palace, however, has not revealed why Ona resigned following an extended leave of absence.

    “Whatever his reason was, we do not have any information on that. What we were told and as mentioned by Secretary [Sonny] Coloma yesterday is that the Executive Secretary informed Secretary Ona of the President’s acceptance of his resignation,” Lacierda said.

    “I don’t have a copy of his resignation letter. Suffice it to say that since Secretary Ona wrote a letter to the President about his courtesy resignation, the President deemed it best to accept the resignation. It’s a matter between the President and him (Ona). But rest assured to our Filipino citizens that the Health department’s projects will push through,” Lacierda added.


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    1. Dr. Ona’s replacement will be Dra. Guarin, by hook or by crook. Why will she not be appointed when PNoy already appointed her Acting DOH Sec.