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Resigned anti-fraud officer tags whole PhilHealth execom as ‘mafia’

Former PhilHealth anti-fraud officer Thorrsson Montes Keith tagged the entire executive committee of the state health insurer as the "mafia" that pockets public funds.

During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Senate President Vicente Sotto III asked Keith to name the mafia he was referring to.

"There is a mafia and syndicate in PhilHealth... sa paniniwala ko po sir, 'yung execom po," Keith said. "Lahat po sila sir, lahat ng execom."

Earlier in the proceedings, PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales denied allegations that he is a coddler of corrupt groups in the corporation.

"I deny that I am the coddler of the wrongdoers in PhilHealth and I manifested earlier that if I could have an executive session to be able to explain my side," Morales said at a Senate hearing on alleged corruption within the agency.

But Sotto did not immediately grant Morales' wish for an executive session: "If you are going to name names, then we are going to allow you, I will entertain your motion for an executive session but if you're merely going to explain your side, you can explain your side here openly." 

The list of names of the PhilHealth execom has yet to be submitted by Morales to the Senate as of posting time.

Keith, who recently resigned due to alleged  "widespread corruption" in PhilHealth, said he believes P15 billion has been stolen by the mafia.

"Naniniwala po ako base sa aking imbestigasyon na ang perang nawaldas at ninakaw ay humigit kumulang P15 billion," he said.

"Ang aking natuklasan sa PhilHealth ay maitatawag po na krimen ng taon o sa English ay crime of the year," he added.

Keith said the execom started to bar him from attending execom meetings after he reported his finding of irregularities to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Commission on Audit (COA).

It was discovered in the same hearing that the actuarial life of PhilHealth is down to only a year due to the pandemic. — RSJ, GMA News