Will Duterte appoint a new PhilHealth chief? No word yet, says Roque
MANILA, Philippines — There is no word yet on whether or not President Rodrigo Duterte will appoint a new person to take the helm of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) amid corruption allegations hounding the agency, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday.
In an online press briefing, Roque said Duterte is awaiting the recommendation and will respect the decision of the task force created to probe the alleged anomalies in the agency.
“Rerespetuhin niya (Duterte) ang magiging decision ng task force na ito. Dahil nagtalaga siya ng ganyang task force, aantayin niya ang aksyon ng task force at ang sabi naman ni Secretary Menardo Guevarra, ang chairman ng task force na ito, ay madalian silang magi-isue ng mga order for preventive suspension,” Roque said.
(Duterte will respect the decision of the task force. Since he created that task force, he will wait for their action and Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who chairs the task force, has said that they will immediately issue an order for preventive suspension.)
“Kung magtatalaga ng bagong presidente ng PhilHealth si presidente, wala pang ganung sinasabi ang ating presidente. Aantayin nya ang rekomendasyon at decision ng task force,” he added.
(Whether or not the President will appoint a new PhilHealth chief, he has yet to say. He will wait for the recommendation and the decision of the task force.)
Roque said that Duterte has previously said that he sees PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales as an honorable man.
“Nais niyang (Duterte) makita ang ebidensiya. Consistent naman siya kaya aantayin nya ang resulta ng imbestigasyon ng task force na binuo niya at kasama naman dyan ang PACC (Presidential Anti-Corruption Council) na mayroon ng ginawa na imbestigasyon,” Roque said.
(The President wants to see evidence. He has been consistent that he will wait for the results of the investigation of the task force that he created which includes the PACC which has conducted their own investigation.)
Meanwhile, the Palace also wished Morales a speedy recovery.
This came after PhilHealth disclosed that Morales was diagnosed with cancer in February and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
Asked if Morales’ work would just be compromised if he opts to stay as PhilHealth chief in spite of his health condition, Roque assured there would not be a “leadership vacuum” in the agency.
“Sa kahit anong organization, hindi naman magkakaroon ng leadership vacuum. Kahit anong maging decision ni General Morales ay mayroon talagang system in place para magpatuloy ang trabaho ng kahit anong organization sa gobyerno,” Roque said.
(In any organization, there wouldn’t be a leadership vacuum. Whatever the decision of General Morales will be, there is a system in place for the work in any government agency to continue.)
PhilHealth is currently facing a probe in both the Senate and the House of Representatives following fresh allegations of anomalies in the agency.
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