PhilHealth top post? Roque says he’s not interested
MANILA, Philippines — Lawyer Harry Roque said on Tuesday that he does not want the top post at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) even though he helped whistleblowers expose the alleged ghost dialysis scam involving the health agency and a treatment center.
“I don’t want PhilHealth. My concern is I’m no longer in Congress. I passed four significant laws and the best is of course the Universal Health Care law,” Roque said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel when asked if he wants to head PhilHealth.
“I want to leave this as my legacy to the Filipino people if I were to retire completely from public life,” he added.
Roque is the legal counsel of Edwin Roberto and Liezel Santos, the two former employees of WellMed Dialysis & Laboratory Center Corp. in Novaliches, Quezon City. Roberto and Santos came out and exposed the alleged ghost dialysis treatment scam.
PhilHealth acting president Dr. Roy Ferrer earlier challenged Roque to “earn” his position if he wants it.
Roque previously served as the presidential spokesperson but he resigned after eyeing a Senate seat in the 2019 elections. However, last February, he withdrew his senatorial bid due to his heart condition.
Asked if he will go back to a Cabinet post, Roque said it would be up to President Rodrigo Duterte if he wants to appoint him.
“That’s really the President’s decision. But sabi ko nga kay Dr. Ferrer, ‘wag kayong mag-alala kung ako ay magnanais, siguro naman kapareho ng ranggo ko na inalisan, which is a cabinet post,’” he said.
Last week, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that WellMed filed “ghost” dialysis treatment claims to PhilHealth despite the patients were already deceased.
Under the scheme, the clinic allegedly filed and received payments from PhilHealth for dialysis treatments of some patients who were already dead.
Duterte has directed Ferrer and its board members to submit their courtesy resignations in view of allegations of ghost kidney treatments. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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