Convicted mayor links Bilibid doctor to corruption
MANILA, Philippines — A former mayor convicted of graft accused on Thursday a hospital doctor at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) of accepting money in exchange for medical records.
Former Valencia City Mayor Jose Galario claimed that he personally gave P1,000 to NBP medical officer Ursicio Cenas several times when he asked for a medical abstract and certification after he had an operation.
When he first asked for a medical abstract from the NBP hospital, Galario said he waited for more than a month but did not receive it.
So he asked around and was told that he had to give money to the hospital doctor.
“Humingi ako ng medical abstract, nagbigay ako P1,000 kay Dr. Cenas, ilang araw lumabas,” the former mayor said during the hearing of the Senate committee on justice.
Galario said he paid Cenas P1,000 every time he requested for either a medical abstract or certification.
“Kukunin niya, ilalagay niya sa kanyang drawer,” he said.
“Kasi kung hindi siya corrupt, si Doctor Cenas, hindi niya tatanggapin yun,” Galario added.
His daughter, Greizl Fernandez, backed his claim.
Fernandez said she also personally handed P1,000 to Cenas twice when she requested for a prescription for his father.
“Naglagay kami ng P1,000 dun sa bond paper, tapos pagpunta ko dun kay Cenas, sabi ko: ‘Doc, bigay ni Papa.’ Yun, maganda ‘yung mood niya,” she said of her first visit to the doctor.
The second visit, she said, happened last January 13 this year when she asked for another prescription for her father complaining about his health.
But Cenas, who was also present in the hearing, vehemently denied the allegation.
“Your honor, not true,” Cenas said when Senator Christopher “Bong” Go asked if he had indeed received money from inmates, who were allegedly faking their illnesses.
These inmates reportedly used the NBP hospital to continue their illegal drug trade.
Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, who was the BuCor chief last year, directly asked Cenas if he was accepting money out of fear of the drug convicts.
“Magsalita kayo, bakit hindi matatapos-tapos ‘yan… Takot ka ba sa drug lord?” Dela Rosa asked.
“Wala naman po akong dapat katakutan sa kanila kasi wala naman po akong transaction sa kanila,” Cenas said. /je
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