Sotto baffled by Duque’s silence on PhilHealth corruption issue
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III took a swipe at the silence of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on the alleged corruption issues currently plaguing the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
Sotto said that considering his concurrent position as chairman of PhilHealth, Duque should at least issue a statement expressing his concern over the corruption allegations.
“It is quite interesting na bakit wala siyang comment, ‘di ba? Nakapagtataka na ikaw ay on top of the PhilHealth, ikaw ay secretary of Health, dapat mayroon kang concern, so may statement ka one time or another sa issues of corruption in the Philhealth itself,” Sotto said.
“Nakapagtataka na hindi siya nagko-comment,” he added.
The Senate investigation into the PhilHealth mess is set to resume next Tuesday, August 11.
In the previous hearing, senators quizzed PhilHealth officials over a proposed P2.1 billion information technology project, which state auditors earlier flagged as being overpriced; the supposedly questionable release of funds under the corporation’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM); and the alleged manipulation of the corporation’s financial status.
A recently resigned PhilHealth anti-fraud officer also claimed that a mafia-like syndicate operating in the agency allegedly pocketed P15 billion through various schemes, which the agency has already denied in the “strongest terms.”