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DOJ task force set to hand in first PhilHealth probe report


MALACANANG will receive anytime the report of Task Force PhilHealth on the alleged anomalies and irregularities in the controversy-ridden Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarr said that the task force was able to conclude their report and recommendations on the PhilHealth controversy within the 30-day period required by President Duterte.

Guevarra however refused to divulge recommendations of the task force until the President read them.

“I can’t say our investigation is over. We’ve only just begun,” Guevarra said.

“We wound up our initial investigation only because we are required to submit a report to the President in 30 days. But our composite teams will continue their ongoing investigations and special audits and file legal actions as they finish one case after another,” he added.

President Duterte ordered the Department of Justice to form a task force to investigate allegations of massive corruption inside PhilHealth.

Guevarra said the different agencies composing the task force have agreed to fast-track the investigation and special audit on PhilHealth.

“Task Force PhilHealth as a composite group will initiate fresh investigations on alleged anomalies that are not the subject of any ongoing investigation or audit,” Guevarra said.

The task force is composed of the DOJ, Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), the Commission on Audit (COA), the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP), the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the National Prosecution Service (NPS).

Last August 4, senators grilled PhilHealth senior officials over the reported corruption in the agency, particularly the allegedly overpriced Information Technology system project proposed by the management; the promotion of officials who were involved in previous controversies; the questioned reimbursements to select hospitals and health facilities; and the supposed mismanagement of the agency’s funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thorsson Montes Keith, PhilHealth anti-legal fraud officer, recently blew the whistle on his colleagues by citing the “widespread corruption in PhilHealth. ” He quit his post afterwards.

The Senate Committee of the Whole had also conducted an inquiry into the PhilHealth fund mess.

Publication Source :    People's Journal
Hector Lawas
Court reporter for more than 20 years