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'Whiff of corruption' in PhilHealth? Duterte should read transcript of Senate hearing, Lacson says

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday said President Rodrigo Duterte should go through the transcript of the almost 10-hour Senate hearing on the alleged irregularities in PhilHealth to get the "whiff of corruption" he requires to axe erring government officials.

This was after Malacanang said that Duterte will not fire PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales unless there is proof that he is engaged in corrupt activities.

"Gusto niya ipadala namin sa kaniya buong transcript of what transpired and concentrate on the responses of Morales and the other resource persons, 'yung members ng execom ng PhilHealth, and it is up for him to judge," Lacson said in an interview on ANC.

"Sabi niya noong araw just a whiff of corruption pag nakaamoy ka lang, you’re fired. This is not just a whiff of corruption. Very disappointing," he added.

During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, various issues on overpriced IT equipment, questionable implementation of the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism, and allegedly manipulated financial statements were tackled.

A whistleblower claimed that a mafia within PhilHealth was able to pocket P15 billion.

Lacson, nevertheless, said he is not questioning the appointing and firing authority of Duterte but he was just appalled by the reaction from the Palace.

"In the final analysis, the buck stops, so they say, at his table. Pero kung ganito may pandemya na pagkatapos ganyan marinig natin, ako I was shocked," he said.

"We are trying to correct or help the President do some remedial measures," he added.

On Wednesday, Lacson also said that the "blanket of trust and confidence" shall not prevent Malacanang from taking drastic steps in addressing the irregularities in PhilHealth.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the top-level positions in PhilHealth shall be cleansed and that the Senate will submit its committee report to Duterte in the hope of showing him the "evidence" he needs.—AOL, GMA News