Sotto: Ex-NBI director Gierran a ‘very good choice’ as new PhilHealth chief
MANILA, Philippines — Former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) director Director Dante Gierran is a “very good choice” as the new chief of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Tuesday.
Aside from having a “clean record,” Sotto said the former NBI chief has investigative experience that would rid the agency of irregularities.
“Director Gierran is a very good choice as PhilHealth chief. Aside from a clean record, he has investigative skills that can crack the whip in ferreting out anomalies in the agency,” the Senate president said in a Viber message to reporters.
Earlier, Senator Panfilo Lacson also said Gierran was a “good man” but hopes the latter “won’t go through hell” at the helm of the state insurer, which has been hounded by fresh corruption allegations.
Gierran is replacing Ricardo Morales, who resigned last week as PhilHealth president and CEO after President Rodrigo Duterte said it would be “best” for him to step down due to his health condition.
Morales’ decision to step down came at the height of separate investigations into alleged anomalies plaguing PhilHealth.
As chair of the Senate Committee of the Whole, Sotto is set to report out the panel’s finding into the PhilHealth mess later this Tuesday. The committee has conducted three hearings into the issue, which all lasted for nearly 10 hours.
Among allegations of corruption raised during the Senate hearings 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 corporation’s financial records.
Aside from the Senate investigation, PhilHealth is also facing separate corruption investigations by the House of Representatives, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, and a task force created by the President and led by the Department of Justice.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.