‘Very kind’ Duterte won’t add pressure to PhilHealth’s Morales – Palace
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will not add pressure to beleaguered Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) president Ricardo Morales, Malacañang said Wednesday amid calls for the sacking of the state insurance firm chief due to allegations of massive corruption within the agency.
According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, it is completely up to Morales what he will do while the investigation on PhilHealth irregularities is ongoing.
Morales, a retired Army brigadier general, is set to take a medical leave next week to undergo chemotherapy for lymphoma.
“Alam mo kasi, si Presidente is really a very kind person. Lalong-lalo na may sakit si Morales, he will not add pressure to Gen. Morales and I think that’s a good trait that the President is not a bad one,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview over CNN Philippines’ The Source.
“It’s up to Morales what he wants to do but the process of investigation will continue,” he added.
Duterte recently ordered the creation of an inter-agency task force to investigate PhilHealth officials over corruption claims that were unearthed during a Senate inquiry.
Among allegations of corruption raised involve the procurement of alleged overpriced IT equipment; a supposedly questionable release of funds under the corporation’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM); and the alleged manipulation of the state insurer’s financial status.
Duterte was criticized for seemingly turning a blind eye on the alleged massive corruption in the state health insurance firm despite his promise to fire officials even on a “whiff of corruption”.
While he has fired several government officials over allegations of graft and corruption, Duterte has also been denounced for “recycling” officials he had sacked by reappointing them to other government posts.
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