A regional vice president of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. at one time allowed and apparently enjoyed a scantily dressed performer to dance at his office, Senator Richard Gordon said on Tuesday.
In a briefing, the chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee said Paolo Johann Perez, PhilHealth's regional vice president for Region IV-B, did not file a report about the incident.
"On his birthday, Perez received the gift. An enormous box in his office. A girl dressed scantily except for underwear danced and gyrated provocatively in front of Perez in the office premises," Gordon said.
"Perez enjoyed the performance and was seen smiling in the video. He did not prevent the incident, or report and issue any reprimand to the employees who brought the girl," he added.
Perez confirmed that his staff had prepared a program for him. He denied that the talent was naked.
"Birthday ko po noon. Mayroon pong hinandang program ang mga staff ko. Hindi ko po alam na may isang division 'di sila nakapagprepare dahil busys sila so kumuha sila ng talent na kakanta. Hindi rin po totoo na nakahubad ang talent," Perez said.
"Ang nangyari po noon, dahil maingay ang crowd di po siya nakakanta. Wala po akong alam doon, it came as a surprise to me," he added.
Perez said he later stopped the performance and asked his staff to start eating lunch.
The expose was part of the Blue Ribbon Committee report on its inquiry last year regarding alleged irregularities in PhilHealth.
The said incident allegedly happened during office hours in front of the staff of the regional office "with many shouting, as one could expect from a show in a nightclub."
The panel, in its report, recommended to the Ombudsman to investigate Perez for violation of Republic Act No. 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.
It also cited the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees wherein it was stated that "public officials and employees shall perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and skill."
Perez was among the PhilHealth executives who were allegedly part of the "Mindanao group" that has been previously tagged as a mafia.
Witnesses in the recent Senate hearing, however, said these officials were the "good mafia."
Perez was also among the six regional vice presidents who took their leave of absence amid ongoing investigations on PhilHealth. -NB, GMA News