Morales ex-aide to testify in Senate’s probe into PhilHealth mess
MANILA, Philippines — The former aide of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) President Ricardo Morales will be coming forward to provide evidence as the Senate resumes its investigation into the alleged corruption within the agency, a source said Monday.
The source said Morales’ former head executive assistant Estrobal Laborte has decided to testify in the Senate inquiry after watching the first hearing on the issue.
“One or two new witnesses are willing to come out now after they heard the hearing at mga klase ng palusot na ginagamit [and all kinds of excuses they are using],” the source said.
“Pagkatapos nilang marinig ang hearing, biglang naisip na: ‘Ay hindi. Dapat malaman ng Senado ‘to,” the informant added.
(After they heard the proceedings, they eventually thought: No, the Senate should know this.)
Laborte earlier backed out from attending the Senate hearing on August 4 for “security reasons.”
Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier said Laborte was initially logged in during the video conference but in the last minute begged off from the online meeting.
Lacson added that Laborte’s decision to back off from testifying would have a huge impact on the Senate inquiry, as Morales’ former aide knows a lot about the alleged corruption rackets in PhilHealth.
In the previous hearing, two witnesses came forward to divulge certain illegal schemes within PhilHealth, namely former anti-fraud officer Thorrsson Montes Keith and incumbent Board member Alejandro Cabading.
In a separate interview, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said at least one new witness will testify on Tuesday’s hearing.
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