Probe on PhilHealth mess to proceed, says Palace | Inquirer News

Probe on PhilHealth mess to proceed, says Palace

/ 02:41 PM September 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The investigations into the alleged corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will continue even as the multi-agency task force created to probe the state insurance firm has already recommended charges against several officials of the agency, Malacañang said Tuesday.


Task Force PhilHealth, led by the Department of Justice (DOJ), recommended graft charges against resigned PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Arnel De Jesus, Senior Vice Presidents Jovita Aragona, Renato Limsiaco, Jr., and Israel Francis Pargas; Officer-in-Charge Calixto Gabuya, Jr., and Division Chief Bobby Crisostomo.

“This is only the beginning,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised Palace press briefing.


Roque said this when asked if Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who serves as chair of the PhilHealth board, is already absolved of any wrongdoing.

“Nakasaad din sa report na magpapatuloy ang imbestigasyon ng NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), at ng DOJ at magpapatuloy pa din po ang mga imbestigasyon ng Ombudsman,” Roque noted.

“Ito po ay pauna lamang given the very limited period of time na binigay po sa task force to come up with its recommendations,” he added.

The task force only recommended “strong admonition” against Duque and other members of the PhilHealth board for “grave consequence” of their action or inaction on the state-run insurer’s funds.

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

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 corporation’s financial status.

The Senate’s 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 Duque and Morales, as well as several top-ranking officials, over the alleged misuse of funds under the state insurance firm’s emergency cash advance measure.


Senate President Vicente Sotto III was baffled that the task force did not recommend the filing of charges Duque for the fund mess.

“No Duque? No Del Rosario? I’m dumbfounded! Article 217 (Malversation) of the [Revised Penal Code] is very clear,” Sotto said in a Viber message to reporters on Monday.

“Perhaps the Ombudsman would have a better perspective of the anomalies,” he added.


Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

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.

TAGS: corruption, DoJ, Francisco Duque, Philhealth, Philippines, Ricardo Morales, Rodrigo Duterte, Senate, Task Force PhilHealth
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.