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Malacañang sacks Insurance Commissioner Escobillo

Former Insurance Commissioner Eduardo Malinis will be returning to his old post, as Malacanang on Friday announced that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has relieved current Insurance Commissioner Evangeline Escobillo. "We would like to confirm that Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita made an announcement that the President has appointed as Insurance Commissioner former Commissioner Edurdo Malinis vice Commissioner Evangeline Escobillo," Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, as quoted by Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye, said. "We thank Vangie (Escobillo) for her contribution to the IC, especially in pursuing needed reforms to strengthen the insurance industry. We look forward to working closely with Commissioner Malinis and are confident that he will continue implementing needed reforms at the IC for the greater protection of the public and better accessibility of insurance products to the common people," Teves added. Escobillo was also part of the Anti-Money Laundering Council. Escobillo is facing several graft cases, one of them filed by a local transport group, who allege that she favors a certain nonlife insurance company in the issuance of vehicle insurance. Another graft case was filed by Insurance Commission employees, after she allegedly ordered the payment of a P10.6-million computerization contract even before the agreement was signed. Yet another case was filed against Escobillo by a certain Reymar Mansilungan for alleged violation of the Insurance Code. It can be recalled that pre-need firms initially opposed Escobillo's appointment to the post of Insurance Commissioner in 2005. The companies said Escobillo's work as former consulting actuary with Agile Study would affect her fairness when it comes to pre-need firms. Regulation of pre-need firms currently falls under the Security and Exchange Commission, but there are plans to transfer the function to the Insurance Commission. - GMANews.TV