President Rodrigo Duterte is exasperated over reports of corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), Malacañang said Friday.
Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque said the President has zero tolerance for corruption, prompting the President to order the creation of a task force to investigate the supposed anomalies in the state insurer.
“Tingin ko as a lawyer, si Presidente is exasperated, gusto na niya matigil ang korapsyon sa PhilHealth at gusto na niya na may ngipin itong task force na binuo niya,” Roque said in a televised briefing when asked for the President’s reaction to the allegations of corruption that were disclosed in a Senate inquiry on Tuesday.
“Ang mensahe po sa mga buwaya ng PhilHealth, tapos na po ang maliligayang araw ninyo diyan. Goodbye.”
Roque assured the public that PhilHealth officials will be given a chance to explain their side during the investigation by the task force, which will be composed of several agencies and independent government bodies.
Aside from conducting an investigation, the task force will also have the authority to do lifestyle checks and an audit of PhilHealth’s finances, put officials under preventive suspension, and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The task force has 30 days from its formation to submit to Malacañang its findings and recommendations, which shall include the proposed legal actions against officials and employees found responsible for corrupt activities or anomalies in PhilHealth.
“I will be delighted to announce in due course kung sinong sususpendihin at kung sino ang sisibakin sa PhilHealth. That would be the most delightful experience in my career as presidential spokesperson,” Roque, who pushed for the passage of the Universal Health Care Act when he was still in Congress, said. — RSJ, GMA News