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PhilHealth execs to sue former anti-fraud officer for libel

Executives of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will file a libel complaint against a former anti-fraud officer who claimed that a "mafia" allegedly including top officials had stolen P15 billion from the state insurer.

Rodolfo Del Rosario, senior vice president for PhilHealth's legal sector, said members of the executive committee will sue Thorsson Montes Keith in their personal capacity.

"Definitely we have seen na ang dami po niyang mga kasinungalingan na pinagsasabi," Del Rosario said at a virtual press conference on Thursday.

"Sabi niya P15 billion binulsa ng mga execom members. We can show receipts of the releases sa IRM (interim reimbursement mechanism) na hindi 'yun ibinulsa ng mga execom. The whole execom will file charges against him for libel," he said.

Del Rosario said Keith, who was in a Senate hearing on alleged anomalies in PhilHealth, cannot invoke legislative immunity because he stated the "lies" before the media.

PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales, for his part, said Keith revealed "inside information" despite agreeing to a "confidentiality clause."

Keith alleged earlier this week that a PhilHealth "mafia" was able to steal more or less P15 billion from the state health insurer through schemes involving cash advances, the IRM, and the procurement of IT equipment.

He claimed that the entire executive committee was part of the "mafia."

Keith resigned from PhilHealth last month, citing corruption in the agency.

Morales told senators that PhilHealth could have lost P10.2 billion due to fraud in 2019, an amount he said could reach P18 billion by next year if unaddressed.

He denied coddling "wrongdoers" in the agency. —LDF, GMA News