‘PhilHealth mafia’ pocketed P15-B worth of funds, says ex-anti-fraud exec
MANILA, Philippines — Recently resigned Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith on Tuesday branded as the “crime of the year” recent anomalies within the agency which he said has resulted to the loss of P15-billion in the state insurer’s funds.
Keith surfaced at the Senate committee of the whole investigation into allegations of corruption within PhilHealth.
“Ang aking natuklasan sa PhilHealth ay matatawag ko na krimen ng taon o sa english ay crime of the year,” the former anti-fraud officer told senators.
(What I have found in PhilHealth is what I would call crime of the year.)
He was referring to the “syndicate-like” implementation of the interim reimbursement mechanism, the procurement of “overpriced” information and communication technology equipment.
“Naniniwala po ako, base sa aking imbestigasyon, ang perang nawaldas at o ninakaw ay humigit kumulang P15 billion,” he said.
(I believe that based on my investigation, the money that was spent and or stolen is more or less P15 billion.)
Keith was among several PhilHealth officials who handed their resignation following a controversial meeting escalated into a forum for heated exchanges over PhilHealth’s allegedly overpriced IT system.
Keith also cited the alleged culture of corruption in the agency due to the continued operation of a mafia-like syndicate.
“Naniniwala po ako na ang dahilan kung bakit hindi natatapos ang korapsyon sa PhilHealth, at naging kutlura na po ito, ay ang pagtatalaga o ang paglalagay ng mga sindikato o mafia ng kanilang kasamahan, kasabwat or kapwa sindikato sa matataas na posisyon na nakakatulong sa kanilang iligal na operasyon,” he said.
(I believe that the reason why corruption doesn’t end in PhilHealth, which has become a culture already, is due to the appointment, or the syndicate or mafia that has been put in place, of their peers, cohorts or fellow syndicate members in the executive department, which helps them in their illegal operation.)
Further, Keith claimed that the syndicate plans to use the contributions paid by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to replace the money they had “stolen or corrupted.”
“Nandito po ako ngayon para magbigay ng aking nalalaman sa mala-pandemiyang korapsyon sa ahensya ng PhilHealth,” he said.
(I am here today to share my knowledge in the pandemic-like corruption in the agency of PhilHealth.)
“Sa aking ipapahayag, naniniwala po ako na ang balak ng mga sindikato o mafia ng PhilHealth na ang pagkukuhanan ng ipangpantatapal sa mga nawaldas at ninakaw nilang pera ay sa mga overseas Filipino workers,” he further alleged.
(According to what I will share, I believe that the syndicate or mafia in PhilHealth is planning to get the money from overseas Filipino workers to replace the money they have already spent or stolen.)
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