Go wants PhilHealth execs suspended while probe is on

National, News

If Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go can have his way, he wants all PhilHealth officials suspected of involvement in the reportedly massive corruption in the agency suspended  while investigation against them is ongoing.

Go said the suspension would prevent PhilHealth officials from influencing the ongoing investigation being carried out by the newly-formed task force led by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The Senate and the House of Representatives as well as the Office of the Special Assistant to the President and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) are also conducting separate investigations on anomalies hounding the state insurer.

Go said “it is really important to have them suspended so they won’t be able to move. Suspend them, investigate, file charges, audit, conduct a lifestyle check and see who is really involved in corruption),” he said.

He added that once investigation is over, the Filipinos will want to see corrupt PhilHealth officials in jail. He has voiced alarm over the alleged massive corruption in the agency, stressing that such cheating is “unacceptable.”

Go, menwhile, Go said he will “respect” the decision of PhilHeaalth president and chief executive Ricardo Morales should he opt not to attend the resumption of the Senate investigation into the alleged irregularities, after his health condition was disclosed.

Reports said Morales needs to undergo treatment for lymphoma and his doctor advised him to take a leave of absence. Go, however, expressed hope Morales would still be able to help in the investigation.

Besides Morales, PhilHealth executive vice president Arnel De Jesus may also unlikely show up because he was confined in a hospital. resigned PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer Thorsson Montes Keith claimed that around PHP15 billion of the agency’s funds have been pocketed by corrupt PhilHealth officials through irregular transactions.

Earlier, PhilHealth acting senior vice president Nerissa Santiago also admitted that the state-owned insurance firm could go bankrupt in 2021 due to the decreased collections and increased payouts for the health expenses of its members due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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