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Ex-NBI chief Dante Gierran is new PhilHealth president

President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former National Bureau of Investigation Director Dante Gierran as the new president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

According to GMA News' John Consulta, Gierran said Duterte called him on Monday night to inform him about his appointment to lead the state insurer.

"I told him the next two years will be devoted to the fight against corruption," Duterte said in his Monday night briefing with Cabinet members.

"Maghanap kayo ng makukulong," he added.

Gierran has been appointed to lead the state insurer following the resignation of former PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales and the leaves of absence of top executives amid serious allegations of corruption and fraud.

Duterte ordered Gierran to remove the regional vice presidents of the state insurer whether they are doing a good job or otherwise.

"Ang lahat ng regional vice president tanggalin ninyo whether performing at par or in parity with the other good ones," Duterte said.

"You know if they are there for so long a time the element of familiarity always enters the picture. Yan ang mahirap diyan. Kung matagal na, tanggalin na. Yung ayaw magpatanggal, mag-report kayo dito sa opisina," he added.

Duterte said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra was winding up its investigation of the corruption and fraud inside the PhilHealth.

"I think he has seen proof enough to come up with an indictment. I hope that this sad episode in our national life in our journey towards nation building will be somehow corrected," Duterte said.

Gierran, a certified public accountant, retired from the NBI in February.

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go earlier on Monday dropped some hints on who would be the next PhilHealth chief.

"Silent worker po ang taong ito. Marunong mag-account at may karanasan sa pag-imbestiga," Go, chair of the Senate committee on health, said in a statement.

"Inaasahan nating ipapamalas niya ang kanyang political will para tuluyang linisin ang ahensya, itigil ang corruption, at panagutin ang mga may sala," he added.

Prior to his appointment as national director of the NBI in 2016, Gierran helmed the bureau’s Region 11 office in Davao City for several years. 

In September 2016, self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato claimed that he and Gierran worked together on kidnapping and killing an individual who they later fed to crocodiles.

Gierran denied the allegation.   -NB, GMA News