Ombudsman drops raps vs PhilHealth execs accused of filing baseless complaints | Inquirer News
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Ombudsman drops raps vs PhilHealth execs accused of filing baseless complaints

/ 06:23 PM June 16, 2021
Ombudsman drops raps vs PhilHealth execs accused of filing baseless complaints

The Office of the Ombudsman. (File photo by NINO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Graft charges against Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) officials accused of filing several “baseless” charges were dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman for lack of probable cause.

In a resolution released on Wednesday, the Office of the Ombudsman explained that the PhilHealth officials’ move to file complaints against the instant case’s seven complainants is well within their tasks and duties and should not be taken as a form of conspiracy among the respondents.

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The eleven PhilHealth officials who faced graft and grave misconduct complaints include former chief executive officer Roy Ferrer and the following:

Interim President and CEO Celestina Ma. Jude Dela Serna
Executive Vice President Ruben John Basa
Senior Vice President Dennis Mas
Vice President Shirley Domingo
Senior Vice President Rodolfo del Rosario
Supervising Health Program Officer Raul Dominic Badilla
Senior Vice President Israel Pargas
Corporate Legal Counsel Angelito Grande
PhilHealth NCR Attorney IV Lawrence Mijares
Auditing Systems Specialist Chief Leila Tuazon.

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The complainants claimed that the following officials conspired into filing complaints against them, but such allegations, the Ombudsman said, are not enough.

“In the herein complaint, there is no question that the respondents performed acts that lead to the successive preventive suspensions and reassignments of some or all the complainants.  There is, however, insufficient evidence that they intended to participate in any conspiracy to cause injustice to complainants,” the Office said in the resolution approved by Ombudsman Samuel Martires.

“It must be pointed out that the overt acts of respondents […] are part of their respective functions either in their capacity as officials of PhilHealth or by Board Resolutions directing them to perform such duties,” it added.

Without proving conspiracy, the Office stressed that the allegations against the officials for supposedly committing a wrong against the complainants could not stand.  Furthermore, the element of graft where an action supposedly causes undue injury is also missing.

Reyes and the other PhilHealth officials were placed under preventive suspension, which was not initially specified for what reason — leading some people to speculate that it was about the corruption mess that the state insurer was involved in.

However, PhilHealth eventually clarified that it was for the complaints lodged by PhilHealth employees who faced the graft and grave misconduct complaints — therefore not being linked to the corruption issue.

READ: Ombudsman orders six-month suspension vs 13 PhilHealth officials 

READ: PhilHealth: Preventive suspension of 13 execs not linked to corruption probes 

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TAGS: former chief executive officer Roy Ferrer, graft. Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Office of the Ombudsman. lack of probable cause, Philhealth, Philippine news updates
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