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Resigned PhilHealth officer bares receiving death threats over corruption claims

/ 11:30 AM July 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith on Monday bared receiving death threats following his claims of “widespread corruption” within the state health insurance agency.

“Meron pong ganung mga death threats pero hindi ko na sasabihin siyempre baka matakot din ‘yung pamilya ko. Para di rin po sila kabahan,” Keith, who claimed that he is now in hiding, said in an interview over radio station dzBB.

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Keith also raised PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales’ background as a former soldier as a reason for hiding.

“Kakaiba po siyang sundalo eh. Kapag sa background po niya makikita niyo naman po ‘yung mga dating ginawa niya,” Keith said.

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“Tinignan ko po sa Google sir, dati raw po siyang parang assasin siya dati,” he added.

But Morales, in a separate interview over dzBB, laughed off at Keith’s concerns for his safety.

“Mabait na ko ngayon,” Morales said before bursting into laugh. “Lumabas ka na. Mabait na ko ngayon.”

On a more serious note, the retired Army general said he will consult his lawyer about possible legal actions on Keith’s remarks against his character. However, he advised the lawyer to seek “psychiatric” help as he could have been “traumatized.”

“I think ano dapat psychiatrist ang tignan niya or doctor or you know the Center for National Mental Health. Baka pwede siya magpakonsulta doon. Baka nastress siya or natrauma,” he said in jest.

Keith’s resignation prompted an investigation by the Office of the President on PhilHealth’s proposed purchase of the “overpriced” information technology (IT) system worth over P2 billion.

The Senate will also open an investigation on the alleged massive corruption within PhilHealth.

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The lawyer vowed to appear in the Senate inquiry and substantiate his allegations.

Morales likewise expressed openness to face the investigation.

PhilHealth has been rocked with various corruption issues, including a scandal that broke apart last June 2019 where some officials supposedly created a scheme where patients continue to receive payoffs for dialysis treatment even if they are already dead.

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TAGS: corruption, Philhealth, Philippines, Ricardo Morales, Thorrsson Montes Keith
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