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Duterte OKs filing of cases vs Morales, other execs over PhilHealth mess

/ 11:24 PM September 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the multi-agency task force created to probe the alleged corruption activities in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to file criminal and administrative cases against former PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales and several other officials of the state insurance firm.

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In a taped speech aired Monday night, Duterte read a part of Task Force PhilHealth recommendations on the filing of charges against officials of the state-run firm for violating several provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Article 213 the Revised Penal Code.

“I’m sorry for them, but they will have to undergo trial, although they can always prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The presumption of innocence is still attached,” he said.

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According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, among those who will be charged criminally and administratively are Senior Vice President Jovita Aragona, officer-in-charge Calixto Gabuya Jr., SVP Renato Limsiaco, SVP Israel Francis Pargas, COO Arnel de Jesus, and division chief Bobby Crisostomo.

Duterte created a task force to probe PhilHealth officials over the corruption claims unearthed during recent congressional inquiries.

Among allegations of corruption raised involve the procurement of alleged overpriced IT equipment; the supposedly questionable release of funds under the corporation’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM); and the alleged manipulation of the corporation’s financial status.

The Senate Committee of the Whole that conducted its own investigation into the PhilHealth mess has already wrapped up its inquiry, recommending the filing of cases against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, recently resigned PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales, and several top-ranking officials over the alleged misuse of funds under the state insurance firm’s emergency cash advance measure.

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TAGS: DoJ, Francisco Duque, Philhealth, PhilHealth anomalies, PhilHealth mafia, Ricardo Morales, Rodrigo Duterte, Task Force PhilHealth
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