‘Delicadeza’ pushed exec to quit amid ‘sad spectacle of alleged anomalies’ in PhilHealth
MANILA, Philippines — Resigned Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) Senior Vice President for Operations Augustus de Villa disclosed to the Senate that he decided to step down from his post out of “delicadeza” amid the “sad spectacle” of alleged anomalies in the agency.
“Ang huli at ikatlong dahilan ng aking pagbibitiw ay sa kadahilanan ng delicadeza po. Ako po ay isang taong marangal, merong dignidad at integridad, malinis po ang aking konsensya at naniniwala ako na hindi ako babagay na magsilbi pa sa isang ahensya ng gobyerno na punong-puno ng alegasyon ng korapsyon at katiwalian,” De Villa said during Tuesday’s Senate investigation into alleged corruption in PhilHealth.
Before this, De Villa said he also resigned from his post to spend time with his family and as a precautionary measure since he is “vulnerable” to the coronavirus infection for being a senior citizen and for having comorbidities, such as high blood pressure.
De Villa said he believes that there is truth to allegations of corruption within the state-run insurance company.
“Ako po ay naniniwala na meron ngang katotohanan, sinadya man o hindi, at ito po ay base sa lumalabas na pagsusuri at lalung-lalo na po nung Martes nung hearing po,” he said, referring to the Senate’s hearing on the PhilHealth mess last week.
“Sa isyu po ng korapsyon, mafia at sindikato ay matagal na nating naririnig bago pa po ako pumasok sa PhilHealth,” he added.
The resigned PhilHealth official said he promised himself that he and fellow former military man, PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales, “will be able to put things right” in the agency when he was appointed in 2019.
“But unfortunately I was wrong as we now have to grapple with the sad spectacle of alleged anomalies being unearthed in these investigations in the Senate and the House of Representatives,” he said.
“It was not a painful decision to break from my colleagues in PhilHealth…My decision is to step aside and work from the vantage point to salvage the honor of the institution, which is PhilHealth,” he added.
As he ended his statement, De Villa held back tears as he expressed hopes that those who are not involved in the alleged corruption in the agency would still be given the chance to serve.
“Para sa akin, kung mapapatunayan po ang may kasalanan ay dapat maparusahan subalit ang mga walang kasalanan ay malayang makapagpatuloy ng matapat na trabaho,” he said.
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