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Lacson: Why spare Duque in PhilHealth scandal?

/ 04:58 PM June 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Thursday decried what he said was the failure to apply the same set of standards to high-ranking officials of the scandal-ridden Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Lacson cited the pressure bearing down on acting PhilHealth Chair Roy Ferrer to quit, but not on the state insurer’s chair of the board, Health Secretary Francisco Duque.

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Falling short of calling for Duque’s resignation, Lacson said the standards applied to Ferrer should also apply to Duque.

“When all the board members of Philhealth were asked to resign, it is difficult to understand why a different standard should be applied to the chairman of the board who happens to be the DOH secretary,” Lacson said in a message to reporters.

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (June 10) called on PhilHealth executives to resign over the reported loss of hundreds of billions of pesos to alleged ghost dialysis treatments and other irregularities reported by the Inquirer.

The report put the spotlight on a health care facility, Wellmed Dialysis Center, which was accused of collecting payments for dialysis of patients who were already dead.

The state-owned firm was supposed to have lost up to P154 billion in fraudulent claims.

In a tweet, Lacson reminded Duterte of Duque’s involvement in a separate PhilHealth controversy where P500 million in funds of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) was used to purchase PhilHealth cards bearing the face of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who, at the time, was running for a regular term as President against the highly popular late actor Fernando Poe Jr.

The cards were distributed just before the official start of the campaign period

According to Lacson, applying a different standard to Duque appeared to be a form of selective justice. (Editor: Tony Bergonia)

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TAGS: dialysis, Duque, health scam, Lacson, Philhealth, scandal, WellMed
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