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Duterte vows to go after erring PhilHealth execs in remaining 2 years of term


President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he will dedicate the remaining two years of his term to put corrupt Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) officials to justice.

"'Yung PhilHealth, ang dapat imbestigahan at dapat i-prosecute lahat at dapat ikulong. Kung 'yan na lang ang trabaho ko sa naiwan kong dalawang taon, 'yan na lang ang gagawin ko," Duterte said in the briefing aired Tuesday morning.

"One of the things that I can do in the remaining two years of my term, uubusin ko itong panahon ko to work on the cases or people who are involved in the PhilHealth," he added.

Duterte clarified that the recent issues of alleged corruption in PhilHealth should not be mixed up with the accounting of funds dedicated for COVID-19 response efforts.

During the same briefing, he also urged all government agencies to publish their expenditures for efforts to address the pandemic.

"Itong PhilHealth, maski paper clip i-publish ninyo at sino ang bidder na mag-supply ng paper clip, maski isa, isabi mo diyan sa newspaper para mabasa," he said.

The President recently ordered a task force, led by the Department of Justice, to investigate the alleged anomalies hounding the state health insurer.

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the legal department of PhilHealth would have the special attention of the task force.

"So far, in the fact-finding, in the investigation reports that we have received so far, including those from the Senate and House of Representatives, it seems that the legal sector is a very ripe source of irregularities," Guevarra said in the same Monday briefing of Duterte aired Tuesday morning.

Among the allegations facing the state insurer is the statement of former PhilHealth anti-fraud officer Thorrsson Keith Montes during a Senate hearing that a "mafia" in the company stole P15 billion through fraudulent schemes.

PhilHealth, in a statement, has since denied such claims.

The Senate is recommending the filing of appropriate charges, including malversation, against PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales and other high-ranking officials over the alleged irregularities, Senator Panfilo Lacson said. —KG, GMA News