Good ties between Ombudsman, Palace aided PhilHealth probe, says President
MANILA, Philippines — The good relations between the Office of the Ombudsman and the executive department aided the probe of alleged irregularities within Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday.
In a taped speech, Duterte commended Ombudsman Samuel Martires for trying his best to go after the erring officials of PhilHealth.
“If you’d notice that at no other time was the rapport between the Ombudsman and the executive department as good. It’s because it’s a matter of human relations, how you present the problem and try to ask for his help,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino.
“I find Martires a very reasonable man. But when [allegations about] PhilHealth came out one after the other, I said: ‘I think he is really trying his best to help us’,” he added.
The Office of the Ombudsman ordered the six-month suspension of 13 PhilHealth officials as investigations were being conducted on the alleged corruption in the agency.
“Anyway, we do not really go to them to ask for a decision either for or against anybody. We just want to expedite and cut the delay because that is the strategy of a lawyer — to prolong the case until such time that the complainant has disappeared into thin air,” Duterte said.
“And of course as I have said, I like to commend, it’s a commendable act of the Ombudsman trying to go out and help…I don’t even know him. I do not know him and yet that the reception we got from him. I’d like to thank you for that,” he went on.
Previously, Duterte approved the task force recommendation to file cases against PhilHealth officials, including its former chief Ricardo Morales.
The complaints would be for graft, malversation and illegal use of public funds, gross misconduct and gross neglect, among others.
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