Lacson alerts Duterte: PhilHealth mess ‘not just a whiff of corruption’
MANILA, Philippines — “This is not just a whiff of corruption.”
Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday reminded Malacañang of President Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated warning to officials that he would fire them immediately over even a mere “whiff” of corruption.
“Sabi niya (Duterte) noong araw just a whiff of corruption pag nakaamoy ka lang, you’re fired. This is not just a whiff of corruption. Very disappointing,” Lacson said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel, referring to alleged anomalies hounding the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
(He previously said that just a whiff of corruption, you’ll fired. This is not just a whiff of corruption. Very disappointing.)
“It goes without saying I’m disappointed. We are trying to correct or help the President do some remedial measures,” he added.
Lacson expressed hope that the Palace would look at the Senate’s findings when it decides on the fate of PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales and other officials.
“I hope that Malacañang will take a look at our findings and decide for themselves if there is still wisdom in keeping Morales and other officials in their posts,” Lacson said in a separate interview on CNN Philippines.
Senators grilled PhilHealth officials over alleged anomalies in the agency during a Senate committee of the whole hearing on Tuesday.
The senators particularly scored Morales for approving the proposed procurement of overpriced IT equipment, authorizing the release of millions worth of funds to “favored” hospitals, and promoting several PhilHealth officials linked to the WellMed “ghost” dialysis scam.
Lacson said the Senate would be willing to furnish Duterte with the full transcript “of what transpired” during the hearing.
The President can “concentrate on the responses of Morales and the other resource persons,” he said.
“Sabi niya unless I see clear evidence or proof of corruption against Morales, he won’t fire the PhilHealth president. Gusto niya padala namin sa kanya buong transcript,” he added.
He said unless there’s clear evidence or proof of corruption against Morales, he won’t fire the PhilHealth president. If he wishes, we can give him the full transcript of the hearing.)
“It is up for him to judge,” the senator further said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III also recently said the Senate will provide the Palace with a copy of its findings regarding the allegations of corruption in PhilHealth.
The chamber is set to resume its investigation into the PhilHealth mess next Tuesday, August 11.
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