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Duterte orders new PhilHealth president Gierran to remove all regional vice presidents

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the new president of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. to remove the regional vice presidents of the state insurer whether they are doing a good job or otherwise.

In his briefing on Monday night, Duterte announced his appointment of retired National Bureau of Investigation director Dante Gierran as the new head of PhilHealth amid serious allegations of corruption and fraud in the agency.

"Ang lahat ng regional vice president tanggalin ninyo whether performing at par or in parity with the other good ones," Duterte said.

"You know if they are there for so long a time the element of familiarity always enters the picture. Yan ang mahirap diyan. Kung matagal na, tanggalin na. Yung ayaw magpatanggal, mag-report kayo dito sa opisina," he added.

Duterte said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra was winding up its investigation of the corruption and fraud inside the PhilHealth.

"I think he has seen proof enough to come up with an indictment. I hope that this sad episode in our national life in our journey towards nation building will be somehow corrected," Duterte said. 

A whistleblower has revealed that members of the PhilHealth executive committee pocketed some P15 billion in funds through several fraudulent schemes. 

Retired General Ricardo Morales resigned as PhilHealth president and CEO last week after Duterte said it would be best for him to go due to his unstable health condition. 

‘The real mafia’

Rodolfo del Rosario Jr., resigned PhilHealth senior vice president for the legal sector, earlier said that the regional executives of the state insurer were “untouchables” who constituted the real “PhilHealth mafia.”

Six PhilHealth regional vice presidents have filed leaves of absence amid the ongoing probe into the allegations of corruption within the agency.

PhilHealth regional vice president Dennis Adre, for his part, backed the claim of whistleblower Thorsson Montes Keith that the incumbent executive committee was the “real and bad mafia.”  -NB, GMA News